Ireland’s Agriculture Minister, Dara Calleary, has resigned on Friday after breaching government coronavirus guidelines by attending a parliamentary golf society dinner.
According to AFP, the event was held on Wednesday, the day after Prime Minister Micheal Martin government ordered a ban on events or parties at hotel restaurants, and that no more than six people should be seated at a single table when dining.
The new restrictions was aimed at curbing the spread of the virus and a new surge in cases.
The Irish Examiner newspaper reports that Calleary was among 82 people at the Oireachtas (parliament) Golf Society’s 50th anniversary dinner held at a County Galway hotel.
The Examiner said attendees sat in groups of 10 and the room was divided, to try to follow recommendations limiting diners to no more than 50.
Prime Minister Micheal Martin said he accepted Dara Calleary’s resignation after just 37 days in the position, calling it “the right decision” and an “error of judgement”.
“People all over the country have made very difficult, personal sacrifices in their family lives and in their businesses to comply with Covid regulations,” said Martin.
“This event should not have gone ahead in the manner it did given the government decision of last Tuesday.”
Martin said Calleary acted “out of character” and the former minister apologised unreservedly in a statement on Twitter late on Thursday.
“In light of the updated public health guidance this week I should not have attended the event,” he added.