Organised events of up to 200 people permitted says Government amid calls for clarity

An outdoor gathering hosted by former minister Katherine Zappone at a Dublin hotel has caused controversy with many questioning how it was permitted under Covid guidelines.
Organised events of up to 200 people permitted says Government amid calls for clarity

The Government has said organised gatherings of up to 200 people can be held outdoors under current Covid-19 restrictions.

The announcement came amid calls for clarity surrounding events following controversy relating to an event held by former minister Dr Katherine Zappone at Dublin's Merrion hotel last month.

The outdoor function was attended by approximately 50 friends and former colleagues of Dr Zappone, including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, six days before she was controversially appointed as special UN envoy.

Dr Zappone defended the function, stating she was assured by the hotel that the event complied with Covid guidelines.

Currently, Fáilte Ireland guidelines for the return of hospitality state organised events are not allowed to take place.

As reported by The Irish Times, the Government said on Wednesday that guidelines relating to outdoor events will need to be updated "to ensure people have clarity".

A statement added that the advice from the Attorney General was that organised outdoor gatherings of up to 200 people were permitted "including social, recreational, exercise, cultural, entertainment or community events".

Representative groups from the hospitality industry met with Government on Wednesday to discuss findings since the return of indoor dining, however, the groups are also said to have sought clarification regarding outdoor gatherings following the controversy.

Adrian Cummins of the Restaurants Association of Ireland said Fáilte Ireland must clarify current guidelines to "make sure we're all on the same page, that we all understand what is acceptable".

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