Local Fine Gael Councillor, John Dolan, has expressed his utter anger and dismay at the hosting of the Oireachtas Golfing Society event in Clifden last week.
“I was overcome with a feeling of both disbelief and anger when reports of the Oireachtas Golf Society event emanated last week.
“In a week when we see supporters prevented from attending football matches, three counties in lockdown and a rise in positive cases of COVID-19, it is hard to comprehend how those involved could have thought that this event should have proceeded.
“I can only conclude that the organisers and attendees felt that they had ‘special dispensation’ to attend and that the health and safety regulations applicable were not relevant to them which I find most disgusting and unforgivable. The fact that many of the attendees were either elected or former elected members of both the Oireachtas and local authorities makes this even worse.
“As public representatives we have a duty to represent and assist the constituents that have elected us and to lead by example. As a nation we have worked hard together, made great sacrifices, witnessed loved ones die and seen some of our frontline workers both become ill and unfortunately lose their lives in the battle with COVID-19.
“Our young people have had no social life and our elderly relatives and friends continue to endure months in isolation in order to supress this virus. How can we expect people to take public representatives seriously when we ask people to limit the numbers of guests at weddings, at masses, at matches or in restaurants when a Government Minister, an EU Commissioner, a Judge, along with several members and former members of both the Oireachtas and the Council flout the regulations and guidelines to which we are all subject. This is simply not acceptable, is indefensible and in my opinion, is an insult to both the frontline workers and the Irish public.
“My phone has been busy with people expressing their anger in this regard. I totally agree with their sentiments and I welcome the resignations that have taken place. I understand that the Gardaí are investigating the matter, but I think that all of the people who attended this event have to seriously consider their positions and reflect on the potential damage that they have done by their stupidity.
“Hopefully we can remain vigilant in our fight against this virus. It should be a lesson for us all that unless we are ‘in this together’ we won’t beat this disease,” Cllr. Dolan concluded.