Covid breaches | 

Golfgate trial to begin today in Galway with 50 witnesses summoned to give evidence

Trial of two prominent politicians and two hoteliers over alleged Covid breaches at Oireachtas Golf Society dinner begins today
The Clifden Station House Hotel in Co Galway

The Clifden Station House Hotel in Co Galway

Eavan Murray

The trial of two prominent politicians and two hoteliers over alleged breaches of the Health Act at an Oireachtas Golf Society dinner held during Covid restrictions in August 2020 begins today in Galway District Court.

More than 50 witnesses have been summoned to give evidence at the Golfgate trial, which is expected to last up to five days.

The accused include the alleged organisers, Independent TD Noel Grealish (55), of Carnmore, Co Galway, and former Fianna Fáil senator Donie Cassidy (75), of Castlepollard, Co Westmeath.

Both men face a single charge that on August 19, 2020 they organised an event that contravened the Health Act 1947, as amended, to prevent, limit, minimise or slow the spread of Covid-19.

John Sweeney (61), the owner of the Station House Hotel in Clifden, Co Galway, and his son James (32), the hotel’s general manager, face the same charge.

The offence on conviction is punishable by a fine of up to €2,500 and/or six months in prison.

Séamus Woulfe, now a Supreme Court judge, and Phil Hogan, then a European Commissioner, attended the event at the hotel.


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