Fianna Fáil MEP attended Taoiseach’s election day when he should have isolated

Billy Kelleher MEP at Leinster House, Dublin. Picture: Dan Linehan

Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher has apologised for not self-isolating having flown from Brussels to Dublin last week.

The former Cork North Central TD flew from the Belgian capital last week and went to the Dáil sitting in the Convention Centre Dublin.

Under public health guidelines, he was to isolate for 14 days and avoid all non-essential contact with others.

Mr Kelleher said that he had been tested for Covid-19 before leaving Brussels, but accepts that he could have put people at risk and has apologised.

“Last Saturday, I attended the election of the new Taoiseach in Dublin having arrived into Ireland from Brussels the day before.

“As I previously stated, I availed of Covid-19 testing services before in advance of departing Brussels in order to reduce any potential public health risk.

“However, despite this, I accept that the risk could not have been eliminated fully and I should have followed HSE advice and remained at home. This was an error of judgement on my part and I apologise unreservedly.”

Public Expenditure Minister Michael McGrath said that while he hadn't had an opportunity to discuss the matter with Mr Kelleher, there was an onus on politicians to "lead from the front" on public health guidelines.