The Golfgate trial has ended with the dismissal of the charges against the four men accused of organising an event in breach of lockdown laws.
The judge agreed that Independent TD Noel Grealish, former Fianna Fáil Senator Donie Cassidy and two hoteliers had fully complied with Covid regulations.
On August 19th 2020, a dinner to mark the 50th anniversary of the Oireachtas Golf Society was held in the Clifden Station Hotel.
100 invitations went out. 81 people attended. This was at a time when only 50 people could gather at indoor events.
The trial heard a lot of evidence about a large partition wall that divided the function room into what the defence argued was 'two distinct and separate gatherings'
Multiple gatherings were allowed at the same venue, but the prosecuting barrister claimed this was a 'very fanciful concept.' Eoghan Cole argued this was 'one dinner hosted in one room with an ineffective partition, as far as the law was concerned.
Judge Mary Fahy disagreed though.
In dismissing the charges, she said she’d no doubt the regulations were complied with, even if the court of public opinion didn’t agree.
She also said, 'very good people lost very good positions and contracts,' before clarifying that she hadn’t made her decision based on that.