Golfgate rumbles on, but no more Oireachtas societies identified


A report ordered in the wake of ‘Golfgate’ into societies within the Oireachtas calling themselves after the official name of the houses of parliament has come to a conclusion. But the formal Garda investigation into whether any rules were broken is still going on .

“No other instances of misuse of the word Oireachtas were uncovered and the prohibition on unofficial societies calling themselves after the Oireachtas remains,” an Oireachtas spokeswoman told the Irish Independent.

It was carried out by Clerk of the Dáil Peter Finnegan at the behest of Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghail in the wake of the controversy that arose when the Oireachtas Golf Society held a dinner for 80 people in two rooms of the Station House Hotel in Clifden, Co Galway, last August.

At the time the country was in Level 2 lockdown, but new restrictions on gatherings had been announced.

The Oireachtas Golf Society has not had any activity since, and members are not likely to play again before next year.

President of the society, Donie Cassidy, told the Irish Independent last night that a motion to rename the society in line with the Ceann Comhairle’s wishes would be put to the members at the next AGM.

“No one can say when that will be. We are going to have to defeat the virus first,” he said. “It could be next year.”

The furore over ‘Golfgate’ swiftly led to the resignation of Dara Calleary as agriculture minister and Jerry Buttimer as leas cathaoirleach of the Seanad, as well as a number of senators losing the whip.

European Commissioner Phil Hogan also resigned.

Séamus Woulfe, then newly appointed to the Supreme Court after serving as attorney general, was also called on to resign. He is currently on a time-out without pay, but is due to take up his seat on the bench of the country’s highest court next month.

Mr Cassidy, who attended the dinner, said there was no indication when the Garda investigation would conclude, and he had heard nothing since giving statements to gardaí last autumn.

Online Editors

Source: Irish News