From top: Róisín Shortall.; Leo Varadkar and Katherine Zappone
— Jim O Brien Tech Owner of 👨💻techbuzzireland.com (@techbuzzinfo) August 5, 2021
Further to Merriongate…
…Social Democrats co leader Róisín Shortall writes:
“The government spent weeks in negotiations with the hospitality industry, about the rules that should apply to their businesses, but we now learn that everybody was working from a misplaced understanding of the law. Instead of the numbers for outdoor social gatherings being strictly curtailed, it is actually possible to host an event with up to 200 people. Curiously, this revelation was only made public after the Tánaiste himself attended a private function in a five-star hotel with 50 guests. It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the government has sacrificed its own public health guidelines to save the Tánaiste’s political skin.
“This grubby little episode suggests there is a prevalent attitude, among an elite in Irish society, that there is one rule for the little people and another for them. It is possible to host an event for scores of political insiders at a swanky hotel, but communions and confirmations are deemed too dangerous to proceed while wedding parties cannot exceed 100 guests – even if they are held outside.
“Questions also need to be asked about the public health implications of any revised guidelines. Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan has previously said that large groups of people, in close proximity outdoors, can facilitate the transmission of covid-19. If we now have a scenario in which events of up to 200 people can be held outdoors, what does this mean about the spread of the Delta variant through communities? Has Nphet been consulted about these new guidelines?
Ms Shortall added:
“…Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has yet to give an explanation as to how this role came about, the nature of the job, the precise details of the recruitment process and whether the position is now vacant or not.
“Mr Coveney has said “mistakes were made in how this appointment was brought about”, but he has yet to tell us what those mistakes were and how he plans to address them. The Minister must now answer these questions. There is no reason he cannot give that clarity today.”
Earlier: Merrion Haste, Repent At Leisure
I buried my daughter in December – with 18 people there – we had to spend time in our grief calculating who to invite and couldn't hug our family and friends who were there. We expect more than the letter of the law from our public reps. https://t.co/xWZxV3OlUB
— Catherine Stocker (@CatzStocker) August 5, 2021
"We are once again mired in a scandal that involves favours for friends, and a culture where the Tánaiste and those around him think that the rules and regulations faced by ordinary people don’t apply to them” says @davidcullinane #MerrionGate #Accountability pic.twitter.com/gNyOz5mHGd
— Sinn Féin (@sinnfeinireland) August 5, 2021