Former Clare Independent TD Dr. Michael Harty has apologised for what he’s called a “serious lack of judgement” in attending the controversial Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden.
The Kilmihil GP was among over 80 people who attended the event in Co. Galway, the fallout from which has led to the the resignation as Agriculture Minister of Dara Calleary, and the sanctioning of other politicians by their parties.
This is the first time that Dr. Harty has acknowledged attending the event – it had previously been known that he was on its guest list for the event.
His apology is to his profession, his patients, the people of Clare and the wider community, and he acknowledges that his actions caused hurt and distress, and undermined the fight against COVID-19.
Acknowledging this “serious breach”, Dr. Harty insists that his attendance at the dinner does not reflect how he normally conducts himself or practices his profession and he insists this will not happen again.
Statement from Dr. Michael Harty regarding the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Cliifden on Wednesday 19th August.
I wish to confirm that I did attend the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden on Wednesday 19th August. This was a serious lack of judgement and concentration on my part for which I take full responsibility.
I wish to apologise unreservedly to my profession, my patients, the people of Clare and the wider community. To attend this dinner showed very poor deliberation and leadership. I put myself in a situation which breeched Public Health guidelines. I attended the event without thinking or applying common sense and should have realised that such a gathering was not appropriate in the midst of a pandemic. I again take full personal responsibility for what was a clear breech of Covid 19 pandemic guidelines and recommendations from NPHET and the Government. I acknowledge the hurt and distress my actions have caused.
My attendance undermined the commitment and sacrifice that everyone has made in controlling the spread of Covid 19 while keeping our population safe, reopening our schools and trying to keep the economy functioning. This was a breech of social cohesion and trust.
The lesson for myself is to critically think about every situation I am presented with and to apply the principals and guidelines of Public Health advise and to act accordingly.
My attendance at the dinner on 19th August does not reflect how I normally conduct myself or practice my profession. Since the onset of the pandemic I have advocated for and supported all measures to control the spread of the virus. This personal lapse of mine has been a serious breech of my adherence to the public health principles of keeping our population safe. I can assure you this will not happen again.