Cork councillor: 'Golfgate attendees will have to work hard to regain trust'

Cork councillor: 'Golfgate attendees will have to work hard to regain trust'

Senator Jerry Buttimer 

ATTENDEES at the Clifden Oireachtas Golf Society dinner will have to work very hard to regain the trust of the public, according to a Cork Councillor.

Green Party councillor Lorna Bogue was speaking after a Cork senator said he is “profoundly sorry” for his involvement in the Golfgate scandal.

Fine Gael senator Jerry Buttimer stepped down from his role as deputy chairman of the Seanad in recent weeks, after it was revealed he was among 81 attendees at the dinner in Clifden despite regulations limiting the amount of people allowed to gather in places such as hotels.

Former agriculture minister Dara Calleary and former EU commissioner Phil Hogan stepped down from their roles in the wake of the controversy, while former attorney general and current Supreme Court judge Seamus Woulfe will have his attendance at the event reviewed.

Speaking on Cork’s RedFM yesterday, Mr Buttimer apologised for attending the event and asked for forgiveness.

“I’m an ordinary person and a very proud Cork person,” he said. “I’m asking for forgiveness.

“All of us must continue to not become complacent and not let our guards down regarding this pandemic. Unfortunately, I made an error of judgement and I made a mistake and I am profoundly sorry for that.”

Speaking to The Echo, Ms Bogue, Green Party councillor for Cork South Central, said: “I think it’s up to Senator Buttimer what he thinks is the appropriate thing to do here.

“He has shown remorse publicly in going on local media.

“However, it remains to be seen how people respond to this apology. Everyone involved in Golfgate will have to work very hard to win back people’s trust.

“From this media appearance, it seems as though Senator Buttimer is willing to do that work, unlike many others involved.

“I hope ultimately that something constructive can come out of this very hurtful incident.”

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