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'Serious lapse of judgement': Fine Gael's Jerry Buttimer resigns as Leas Cathaoirleach of the Seanad

Buttimer was one of the attendees at the Oireachtas Golf Society event.

Image: Leah Farrell/Photocall Ireland

FINE GAEL SENATOR Jerry Buttimer has resigned his role as Leas Cathaoirleach of the Seanad in the wake of the controversy surrounding the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Galway.

He becomes the second politician to resign a senior role in the wake of the event, after Dara Calleary resigned as Agriculture Minister this morning

Originally reported by the Irish Examiner last night, Buttimer was among over 80 attendees at the event in a hotel in Clifden on Wednesday night.

Attendees of the event were strongly criticised given the public health guidance advising against large gatherings to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

In a statement, Buttimer said: “It was an honour to be elected Leas-Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann but my attendance at a dinner event in Galway this week has compromised the government at a time when people, across every sector of Irish society, are doing their best to keep all safe during this global pandemic. 

“It was unintended but serious lapse of judgement in attending the event. I should not have attended the dinner and I hereby tender my resignation as Leas Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann to the Cathaoirleach of the 26th Seanad. I apologise unreservedly for my actions this week. 

For the last six months, this country has come and worked together, to defeat Covid-19. It is an ongoing battle and our collective societal response is important and our individual actions matter. I wish everyone success in this fight. 

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Sean Murray

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