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Irish Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary and Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer Resigns After Breaking Coronavirus Restriction

Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary and Seanad Leas-Cathaoirleach  have both resigned from their positions after breaking coronavirus lockdown restrictions by attending a golf dinner with 80 other people.

The quit after it emerged he had attended the Oireachtas Golf Society event at the Station House Hotel in Clifden, County Galway, breaking coronavirus guidelines which stated that no more than 50 people should gather indoors.

They were both guests at an Oireachtas Golf Society event, which was held in a hotel.

The event came a day after it was announced that tighter lockdown restrictions were being put in place in Ireland after the number of cases increased over the past two weeks.

Taoiseach MicheĂ¡l Martin has accepted Mr Calleary's resignation from Cabinet.

Mr Calleary said the Taoiseach is "both angry and disappointed" in him and he had let him and his colleagues in Government down, "so he is entitled to be angry and disappointed and they are all entitled to that anger and disappointment". 

Speaking on Midwest Radio, the former Agriculture Minister acknowledged that he had caused unintentional damage to the work done by frontline and public health workers and their families. 

He said he had had a wonderful four or five weeks as minister and had been really excited about the job and "was getting stuck in... but someone else will now have the honour of leading that wonderful organisation". 

Calleary apologised “unreservedly” late on Thursday for being at a hotel dinner hosted by the Irish parliament’s golf society, a day after the government significantly tightened nationwide restrictions to try to rein in a spike in infections.

In a statement, The Taoiseach said that Mr Calleary's attendance at the event was "wrong and an error of judgement on his part".

"This event should not have gone ahead in the manner it did given the Government decision of last Tuesday," Mr Martin said.

In a statement on Twitter, Mr Buttimer said he had tendered his resignation as Leas-Cathaoirleach of the Seanad.

Mr Buttimer apologised unreservedly for attending the event, which he said was an unintended but serious lapse of judgement.

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