Noel Grealish insists he had nothing to do with the organisation of an Oireachtas Golf Society dinner party that allegedly breached COVID-19 lockdown laws.
The Independent TD for Galway West is one of four men on trial for their alleged roles in organising the event, which has been dubbed ‘Golfgate’
It took place while the country was in a Level 3 lockdown on August 19th 2020 in the Station House Hotel in Clifden following a two-day golfing trip in Connemara.
Former Fianna Fáil Senator, Donie Cassidy, and two hoteliers are facing the same charge as Deputy Grealish.
At the time of the dinner, Independent TD Noel Grealish was Captain of the Oireachtas Golf Society.
Former Fianna Fáil Senator Donie Cassidy was President.
81 people attended the dinner, which marked the end of a two-day golfing event in Connemara. On August 19th 2020, indoor gatherings were limited to 50 people.
Mr Cassidy’s barrister told the court that “public hysteria whipped up” after the media got involved and he said “a lot of good people had to resign.”
Following a meeting with the hotelier, he said his client was satisfied that the arrangements put in place met the Fáilte Ireland guidelines.
Deputy Grealish’s barrister claimed his client had no role in organising what was “the President’s dinner.”
The owner of the hotel, John Sweeney, and his son James, who is the General Manager, are also accused of breaching the same Covid regulation.