Doherty calls for independent investigation into Department of Foreign Affairs gathering

A Donegal TD is calling on the Taoiseach Micheál Martin to hold an independent investigation into a gathering at the Department of Foreign Affairs in 2020.


Deputy Pearse Doherty has made the call after an internal review published last night had  “no accountability”.  according to the Sinn Fein TD.


The report by the Secretary General at the Department of Foreign Affairs found a “serious breach” of social distancing rules had occurred at a gathering which was staged to celebrate Ireland’s election to the UN Security Council.


The report recommended that senior officials make donations to charity.

Four officials, including the former Secretary General Niall Burgess, have agreed to make a donation to charity worth a combined 5,000 euro because of the ‘serious breach’ of covid guidelines.


The The Foreign Affairs Minster says the champagne gathering in his department during covid lockdown restrictions was an ‘uncharacteristic mistake’.


Champagne was provided while 20 staff celebrated Ireland winning a seat on the UN Security Council.

Minister Simon Coveney says it was a mistake that he doesn’t condone in any way, but it was a spontaneous thing and not an organised event.


Deputy Doherty says the Internal Investigation was never going to go far enough: