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Garda investigation underway into Golf Society event in Clifden

Dara Calleary has resigned as Minister for Agriculture

Other local media reported Mr Calleary had apologised to the Taoiseach, and contacted the leaders of Fine Gael and the Green Party.

Guests also attending the event included EU Commissioner, Phil Hogan and former RTÉ broadcaster, Sean O'Rourke.

It's only 37 days since Deputy Calleary took up the Ministry after replacing the previous Agriculture Minister Barry Cowen following a drink driving scandal last month.

The 81 people at the County Galway event were split across two rooms.

Ireland has maintained some of the strictest controls in Europe and the government faced criticism all week for what many saw as poorly communicated and contradictory new restrictions, including limiting indoor gatherings to just six people.

"I wish to apologise unreservedly to everyone".

Meanwhile, the gardaí this morning confirmed it wass investigating an event that was held in County Galway on August, 19 into alleged breaches of The Health Act 1947 (Section 31A-Temporary Restrictions) (Covid-19) (No.3) Regulations 2020, as amended. We are asking quite a lot from everyone at this hard time. "I also offer this apology and my honest regret to my government colleagues".

Calleary apologised "unreservedly" late on Thursday for being at a hotel dinner hosted by the Irish parliament's golf society, a day after the government significantly tightened nationwide restrictions to try to rein in a spike in infections. Hogan's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Visitors from most European Union countries, including Belgium, are required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival in Ireland under some of the strictest travel restrictions in the bloc.

The two sets of diners were divided by a removable partition, the spokesman said.