Ceann Comhairle Blasts ‘Crass’, ‘Stupid’ ‘Arrogant’ Golfgate Set

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Ceann Comhairle Sean O'Fearghail

The Ceann Comhairle says the Clifden Oireachtas Golf Society Dinner was the result of a “collective crass stupidity, arrogant delusion… or both“.

Sean O’Fearghail’s launched a blistering attack on those who attended the event, claiming it damaged public confidence in the political system.

He was speaking on the first day of the new Dáil term, which was recalled two weeks early, following the controversy.

Deputy Ó Fearghaíl has told TDs that the golfgate gathering in Galway has damaged public confidence in politics and politicians.

He said he has now asked that the Oireachtas golf society be disbanded.

Speaking before Dáil business began, Mr Ó Fearghaíl said: “We all make mistakes. There isn’t one amongst us who, if they had their time would not change their approach to some issues, or perhaps not engage in certain situations, at all. That is perfectly normal.”

But he added: “Seriously indefensible breaches of public health regulations occurred on the 19th of August in Clifden. These breaches are either the result of collective crass stupidity, or arrogant delusion, or both.”

He added that the controversy has “damaged public confidence in our public system” claiming that “confidence wasn’t in high esteem” to begin with.

He called on TDs to collectively commit to working together to rebuild confidence in the parliamentary system.

“As legislatures, we make the rules but the rules apply to everyone and there are currently no exceptions or special treatment. It must be fairness, consistency and solidarity, as we tackle the scourge of COVID-19,” Mr Ó Feargháil told the Dáil.

”We must strive to actively listen to each other, to work together and to demonstrate to the Irish public our one and only objective is to serve.”