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Taoiseach's attendance at Cork boxing club event during indoor gatherings ban was 'not personal'

Reports resurfaced yesterday about Micheál Martin’s attendance at the event.

Image: Julien Behal Photography

THE TAOISEACH HAS insisted that his attendance at an event at a Cork boxing club before Christmas, when a ban on indoor gatherings was in place, was for “work” reasons.

Reports emerged yesterday that Micheál Martin attended the event at Glen Boxing Club in Blackpool on 12 December last to present a trophy named after his father.

The Taoiseach presented the Paddy Martin Cup to Irish boxer and garda Christina Desmond during the event, which was said to have been attended by “at least” 12 people.

It took place at a time when Level 3 restrictions were in place, during which no indoor gatherings were permitted.

However, a spokesperson for the Taoiseach said Martin’s attendance at the boxing club “was work, and not a personal event”.

“The Taoiseach visited a community boxing club at the invite of the Cork County Boxing Board, almost four months ago, on 12 December 2020,” a statement said.

“Ahead of the engagement, as standard, guidance was provided to the club, including limiting the number of attendees, social distancing, and wearing of masks when not speaking or in photos.

“This was work, and not a personal event.”

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Details of the event were first reported by the Cork Echo two days after it took place, but resurfaced on a website called Ontheditch.com yesterday, when it was claimed that Martin broke Covid-19 restrictions by visiting the club.

The event was one of four engagements for the Taoiseach in Cork that day, which also included visits to a local housing project and an engagement at Cork City Football Club.

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