Martin stresses need for 'personal responsibility' after Merrion Hotel event

ireland
Martin Stresses Need For 'Personal Responsibility' After Merrion Hotel Event Martin Stresses Need For 'Personal Responsibility' After Merrion Hotel Event
The Taoiseach has addressed the controversy.
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Digital Desk Staff

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has spoken about the need for continued “personal responsbility” following controversy last week over a gathering of political figures, including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, at a hotel event for former minister Katherine Zappone.

“The Tánaiste expressed his regret at attending the Merrion Hotel outdoor event. While the event didn’t breach regulations, the Government accepts that further clarity and consistency on guidelines was required,” Mr Martin told the Sunday Independent. “As we move forward, personal responsibility will be a key factor.”

Speaking on RTÉ's Six One News on Friday, Mr Varadkar apologised for attending the outdoor function which was attended by around 50 people.

Mr Varadkar said: “I want to express my regret at the fact I attended that event and that it’s led to this controversy. And I want to say sorry to the hospitality industry in particular, they’re struggling to get open again, and it doesn’t help them that the guidelines are changing and are unclear at time, and to any members of the public who are confused about what the rules are.”

Regulations

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He added: “I did do a treble check. I checked the regulations, the ones I sign off on, the ones I am familiar with, I checked with the organiser of the event and the manager of the hotel as I arrived.”

Mr Varadkar went on to say, “very clearly that the event was not in breach of the Government regulations in place at the time which allow for outdoor gatherings of over 200, and probably wasn’t in breach of the Fáilte Ireland guidelines either”.

Government has pledged to reveal a road map for the removal or easing of remaining Covid-19 restrictions by the end of the month.

New pandemic guidelines for the hospitality industry were prompted by the controversial event at the Merrion hotel, a Government junior minister has admitted.

The rules, which were updated on Friday, mean 200 people can now gather at an outdoor event with live music.

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