Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary has confirmed his resignation from Cabinet after attending a golfing event in Clifden, Galway, with 80 other people on Wednesday night.
The Irish Examiner first reported the story which stated that 81 people attended the dinner, with guests partitioned into two separate rooms.
Mr Calleary and EU commissioner Phil Hogan were among the guests at the Oireachtas Golf Society event. Other guests included independent TD Noel Grealish, Supreme Court Judge Seamus Woulfe, and former RTÉ broadcaster Sean O'Rourke.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin has accepted Mr Calleary's resignation.
The Gardaí have also announced that they've launched an investigation into an event that was held in Galway on August 19 following alleged breaches of The Health Act.
— Richard Chambers (@newschambers) August 21, 2020
Mr Calleary was appointed as the Minister for Agriculture last month following the sacking of his predecessor Barry Cowen.
In a statement, Martin said that Mr Calleary's attendance at the event was "wrong and an error of judgement on his part".
The Fianna Fáil leader said that "people all over the country have made very difficult, personal sacrifices in their family lives and in their businesses to comply with COVID regulations. This event should not have gone ahead in the manner it did, given the Government decision of last Tuesday."
Martin added: "Dara Calleary since he was first elected to Dail Eireann has been, and remains, a committed and dedicated public representative. This error of judgement was out of character. He has made the right decision for the country, particularly in light of our continued efforts to suppress COVID."
Speaking on RTÉ's Morning Ireland, Minister for Education Norma Foley said she understands the anger and frustration that people feel.
Foley also said that Calleary had shown leadership by resigning and that it was an error of judgement that shouldn't have happened.
"It was an error of judgement and shouldn't have happened" - Minister Foley.
— Morning Ireland (@morningireland) August 21, 2020
In a statement last night, Mr Calleary apologised for his actions and said he should not have attended the event.
The former Agriculture Minister said: "In light of the updated public health guidance this week I should not have attended the event. I wish to apologise unreservedly to the public, from whom we are asking quite a lot at this difficult time. I also offer this apology and my sincere regret to my government colleagues."
Main image via Dara Calleary/Twitter