Referencing the public fallout pertaining to the hosting of the Oireachtas Golf Society gathering in Clifden last week, Longford-Westmeath Sinn Féin TD Sorca Clarke noted that the coalition Government “cannot provide clear guidance and leadership at a time when both attributes are much needed”.
“The Government is in chaos and has lost the confidence of the people,” Dep Clarke said. “It is critical that order is restored. We need to get ahead of the huge issues facing us, returning children to school, the challenges facing the health services, the economy and getting people back to work and the first step is to end the atmosphere of chaos caused by a Government out of its depth that continues to lurch from crisis to crisis.
“The Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party mismanagement of this crisis is there for everyone to see, from the failure to have any strategy for people travelling onto the island, the contradictory communications regarding the restrictions announced earlier this week, the failures to have the capacity for testing and tracing in the event of a resurgence of COVID-19, to the lack of preparation for the return of schools.
“And while the country continues to make sacrifices due to COVID-19, 80 of the country’s politicians, lobbyists, bankers and judges saw fit to have a ‘knees up’ in the west of the country. At a time like this, that defies belief and smacks of the reincarnation of the Galway tent.
“Not only has this disgraceful behaviour been a snub to those who went months without seeing loved ones, grieved in isolation and rescheduled once in a lifetime moments, it has damaged the reputation of the country at an EU level with Phil Hogan, not only attending the event but visiting a county enduring more severe restrictions en route only to be stopped by Gardai for breaking the law. It is clearly not tenable for him to remain in position.
“The anger among the public is palpable and no amount of faux apologies is going to cover over the cracks that have deepened due to the decision to hold a golf outing during Covid-19.
“The Dáil needs to return. Proper leadership is needed now more than ever,” Deputy Clarke asserted.