Ireland

Politicians and hoteliers in court today arising out of ‘golfgate’ event

Independent TD Noel Grealish, former Fianna Fáil senator Donie Cassidy, and two hoteliers are to appear in court today on charges relating to an Oireachtas Golf Society event last August.

John Sweeney, the owner of the Clifden Station House Hotel in Co Galway,  and his son James Sweeney, are listed to appear alongside the politicians at a sitting of Clifden District Court in Co Galway after 81 people attended a prizegiving dinner last August.

The men face a single charge of organising or causing to organise an event in contravention of Section 31A of the Health Act 1947, which was amended to limit the spread of Covid-19.

At the time of the golf outing and dinner, the country was under level 3 Covid-19 restrictions with indoor gatherings limited to 50 people.

If the charges are proven against the four men, the court will have to consider the number of people in attendance and the degree of danger the event posed to public health when deciding on what penalties to impose.

The penalties for such a breach is a fine of up to €2,500 and up to six months in prison.

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