The Rewind

Liveline Powerfully Captured The Nation's Heartbreak, Anger, And Pain Following Golf Gate

Liveline Powerfully Captured The Nation's Heartbreak, Anger, And Pain Following Golf Gate

While the government consistently reminded us that we're all in this together, the actions of the 81 people that attended the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner on Wednesday have proven to be the contrary.

Already today, the Minister for Agriculture, Dara Calleary, has resigned while Jerry Buttimer has also resigned as vice-chair of the Seanad.

Gardai are also investigating whether the event was in breach of the regulations which ban indoor gatherings for over 50 people.

Aside from this, Senators John Cummins, Paul Daly, Paddy Burke, Aidan Davitt, Niall Blaney, and Noel Grealish, the captain of the Oireachtas Golf Society, have all apologised for their behaviour in attending the function.

Phil Hogan, Ireland's EU Commissioner for Trade, did not apologise.

Hogan stated that he "attended the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner on Wednesday on the clear understanding that the organisers and the hotel concerned had been assured [by the Irish Hotels’ Federation] that the arrangements put in place would be in compliance with the government’s guidelines."

Mr Justice Woulfe confirmed he attended one day of the Oireachtas Golf Society outing as a guest but said he was "not aware in advance that there was going to be an organised dinner as part of the event".

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In a statement, he said that he attended based on the understanding that the event would be within the public health guidelines, and would "never disregard governmental or health authorities' advice regarding public health.

"That I ended up in a situation where breaches may have occurred, is of great regret to me, and for which I am sorry. I unreservedly apologise," he added.

Since the Irish Examiner broke the story, former Minister for Health Simon Harris said that "the Oireachtas golf dinner should clearly not have proceeded. It was absolutely the wrong thing to do and a stomach punch to everyone in this country who has sacrificed so much."

Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has also removed the party whip from Senators Jerry Buttimer, Paddy Burke and John Cummins.

However, this story isn't just confined to the political sphere and the people that attended the Oireachtas Golf Society because every single person in Ireland has made massive sacrifices over the last few months.

On today's episode of Liveline, callers were given an outlet to express their thoughts on 'Golf Gate' while listeners were reminded of the pain, sadness, and anger that COVID has had on the Irish public - emotions that have been exacerbated by the reckless and callous actions of those 81 people at the Oireachtas Golf Society.

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During the show, Katie Hannon heard stories of people that couldn't attend the funeral of their family members, couples that had to move their wedding date, parents that are still struggling to balance work with the need to take care of their children, people that had to cancel their cancer screenings, and much more.

The sense of 'it's one rule for them, another for everyone else' pervaded through every second of the show, and rightfully so.

If the most recent episode of Liveline is a barometer of the Irish psyche, it's obvious that people that feel absolutely distraught, disillusioned, and despondent with the government following the events in Galway.

You can listen back to the show here.

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SEE ALSO: Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner For Trade, Refuses To Apologise For Attending Golf Event

Paul Moore

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