Merrion Haste, Repent At Leisure


From top: The Merrion Hotel garden terrace; Attorney General Paul Gallagher


This morning.

Via Irish Times:

Opposition and Coalition figures criticised the apparent contradiction between a Government statement last night and its stance on events such as communions and confirmations.

…After Ms Katherine Zappone’s decision (to decline her appointment as a envoy on free speech to the UN), the Government said it had received advice from the Attorney General that social, recreational, exercise, cultural, entertainment or community events of up to 200 people were permitted under regulations.

Events held in dwellings, wedding receptions, sporting events or training events are not allowed under regulations, it said.


Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Sinn Féin’s Health spokesperson David Cullinane said no one in government could seriously suggest that they believed that people could have an organised social event outdoors for up to 200 people, and Fáilte Ireland guidelines make it clear that multiple tables cannot be booked.

The fact that Fáilte Ireland are now revising its guidelines smacks of an attempt to retrospectively to get the Tánaiste off the hook, he said.

The industry itself is now seeking clarity, he said, adding “is it any wonder that people are confused?

Government under pressure to clarify open-air gatherings guidelines after Zappone controversy (irish Times)

Public health guidelines on outdoor events to be updated (RTÉ)

Yesterday: “I have Decided Not To Accept This Appointment”



Eamon Ryan’s chief-of-staff and Department of Children secretary general both attended Katherine Zappone’s controversial party (


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51 thoughts on “Merrion Haste, Repent At Leisure

  1. ce

    What is the official capacity of the Merrion? Must be somewhere for fire safety purposes etc…

    1. gallantman

      I also assume the spirit of the 200 people outdoor ‘law’ envisaged a fully outdoor event and not 200 people in the garden of a hotel, all waking though reception and all traipsing in and out to use the bathroom etc.

  2. Mr T

    Could this be the most scandal ridden government in the history of the state?

    Every month theres something else

    1. ce

      “Could this be the most scandal ridden government in the history of the state?”

      In fairness, it only because we’ve found out close to the actual events rather than retrospectively!

  3. des

    At the time, guidelines stated that no more than a group of 6 could dine outdoors. Booking of multiple tables was not allowed under guidelines

    Snaky Leo is doing what government has done since the pandemic started: pushing guidelines as law and law as guidelines to suit their narrative.

    Bottom line is: Vradkar is in breach of guidelines again. remember he moved house during the first severe lockdown?

  4. goldenbrown

    “new politics” = zombie government

    Varadker could eat newborn babies on live TV and Mehole would still be tumbleweed

    very strange times

  5. John F

    It will be interesting to see how the slippy, Teflon-coated Tanaiste navigates his way out of this one. Leo , has in the recent past burned other politicians and officials for reasonably similar events. Between this and the criminal investigation against him, his days could be numbered.
    The FF grassroots and some party members already have knives out fr the Taoiseach, I suspect that there could also be a move in FG to get rid of the Tanaiste also.

    1. ce

      If FF want to survive they need to pull the plug – blamesFG and the Greens for the backstabbing, offer SF a coalition (which they’ll reject), go to the country with a supped up non-FG housing plan and a clear conscience of a good vaccine rollout and given that Calleary stood aside rapidly when he got caught….

      But that’s not going to happen… that would take Haughey or Ahern levels of political guts

      1. Cú Chulainn

        And intelligence, capability, ambition and an actual desire and belief in making things better for society… so…

  6. Micko

    When reading the list of events that are allowed and the ones that aren’t, it’s just jaw dropping-ly unbelievable how much power and control the state now has over us.

    Events held in dwellings, wedding receptions are not allowed but cultural, entertainment or community events are allowed. What’s the thinking behind that then?

    It’s absolute madness and instead of calling it out as utter lunacy before us, people will argue over whether Varadkar & co broke the rules or not.

    1. ce

      Getting the AG to get you off the hook after the fact is pretty sickening – classy stuff altogether

    2. Rob_G

      The state has always tightly controlled what types of events can be held, and when: whether or not you can serve alcohol, whether or not dancing is permitted, what time alcohol can be served until, how much noise is acceptable in private dwelling, etc.

      1. Micko

        Not really getting your point there Rob.

        Does that means we should ignore it when they take EVEN more power then?

        I would think it’s a terrible idea. Especially when the rules are so arbitrary.

        Does anyone else worry that we’re not getting these freedoms back?

        1. SOQ

          Yes- especially when they are presenting rules as laws which are not actually laws.

          Take this 200 thing- did they just not bother telling us, or are they just making it up as they go along?

        2. Junkface

          I’ve seen a lot of discussion where people are worried that we won’t get our freedom back to the way it was. I’m not so sure about that. When the restrictions were put in place 100 years ago due to the Spanish Flu, people worried about the exact same things. Marched in protest, all of the same issues. Once the Spanish flu went away, normal life returned. I know the internet and A.I. age complicates this further, but I think things will get back to normal after a while.
          China has really screwed the world over with this strange virus (how long will it mutate for?). There should be repercussions, they were irresponsible. Well, the CCP, not the Chinese people.

          1. Micko

            I think your 100% right in the internet and particularly social media.

            We’re not meant to communicate on this level.

            Think about 100 years ago as you say. People were peed off and protested, but they were localised events. They weren’t shared around the world in a way that divides people.

            Everyone is so polarised now. Look at here on BS even.

            I’m absolutely positive that 99% of us on here would get on amazingly in real life and maybe disagree on one or two small issues.

            But now, those one or two issues have been amplified to such insane levels, that if we don’t agree on ONE issue then we automatically assume that the other party must be a certain political leaning, or crazy, or worst of all – stupid.

            Stupidity – the ultimate sin in our society.

            It’s crazy.

          2. (a different) andrew

            In fairness, a lot of your comments (at least over the last 24 hours) are quite stupid. I wouldn’t say “all”… 80 percent?

          3. Micko

            Listen Andy

            I know you’re trying to make the little spat we had yesterday into a thing.

            It’s not a thing.

            It’s not gonna happen. Let it go man

          4. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            I like you Micko,
            I have often said to people I disagree on here with that we would probably get on well over a pint (to which I was called passive aggressive lol, I’m actually just straight up aggressive/ Parisian in real life hahahaha),
            I completely agree with the polarisation and it really disturbs me, more than the content often,
            also as anyone who has had a text war with a sister for example …it is really hard to read tone in text especially if one of you is very direct (we only use that voice record now…prob solved).

          5. Nigel

            ‘that if we don’t agree on ONE issue then we automatically assume that the other party must be a certain political leaning,’

            I get that you’re quite incredibly sensitive about this, and you desperately want to both-sides this and stake out your own position as the reasonable centre, but the fact of the matter is you only have to look at what is going on in the US with one party, the party of the right, actively staking out a position that is essentially ant-vax, actively sabotaging efforts to vaccinate the population – and this includes all ages and vulnerable people – actively passing laws to criminalise pandemic response efforts and blaming resulting spikes in infection on Biden and immigrants, bolstered by at least two news networks and massive online disinformation campaigns propagandising people into refusing vaccinations with deadly results. So while you are at pains to make your position look reasonable in comparison to this – they are helping you by being borderline homicidal in their opposition – nobody actually cares if the bloated right-wing evil stains you by association, that’s your problem, not mine or anyone else’s, but it does give you something to whine about when you can’t muster any other arguments. I could be wrong but I don’t actually think any other commenter has ever directly called you right wing, or SOQ, you just get offended when anyone points out that the vast bulk of anti-vaxx culture war political propaganda and activism comes from the right. That’s something you and SOQ need to acquire the honesty to confront and deal with because most pandemic trutherism is reactionary in nature, like it or not.

          6. Micko


            Again, we don’t live in the US Nigel. Stop trying to bring their polarising crap over here.

            Also, vaccination numbers in Ireland are through the roof. So, what the hell are you bleating on about?

            If they were in the toilet, I could understand what you’re talking about – but they’re not.

            You literally have no point. You are getting what you want, the vast majority vaccinated and the unvaccinated are being kept away from you.

            Enjoy your utopia.

            Me? Well, I’ll be underground eating rat burgers with Edgar Friendly types. ;-)


          7. Nigel

            On the contrary, I am very concerned with keeping that crap out of here. And since I’m getting what I want, I must be doing something right, so I guess I’ll keep on doing it.

    3. goldenbrown

      this is all very simple

      Irish royalty brazenly had themselves a coronation party
      got caught doing it
      baaad optics for the heir to the throne
      so get on blower fast to the head solicitor
      get those interpretation goalposts moved stat!
      happy dayz nothing to see here plebs go back to eating your cake

      nothing more nothing less

  7. RuilleBuille

    The AG has been disgraceful over this matter. He is the top law official in the land and it is not his job to give retrospective justification for breaking the rules.

    Both Coveney and the AG should be booted out.

      1. ian-oG

        Whenever I hear Bilderberger I always think of a place where you get to choose your own toppings.

          1. Janet, dreams of an alternate universe

            I have razer blades sewn into the collar of my jacket n everything

  8. Jdawgs

    I was surprised at how many people I’ve met and talked to about Ivana Bacik believing her to be the happy truthful goody two shoes cycling politician wonder woman. She’s the same. Different finger in the same glove. I wish this had happened sooner. She didn’t deserve the glory of that by election.

  9. Otis Blue

    FG has just sent out the hapless Colm Brophy to bat on this at the News at One.

    It ain’t pretty.

Comments are closed.

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