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Officials "Watching Closely" After Increase In Dublin Coronavirus Cases

Mon, 24th Aug 2020 19:59

(Alliance News) - Another 147 cases of Covid-19 have been diagnosed in Ireland.

Around half were in Dublin and acting chief medical officer Ronan Glynn said there had been an increase in the capital over recent days.

He warned infections were spread across the city but there was no suggestion further measures were needed.

"It is something we are watching closely," he said.

"It is an opportunity for me to highlight in relation to Dublin that cases are increasing and that people should follow the public health advice if at all possible."

A third of infections in the city involved community transmission. Some 34 of the 73 involved close contacts of others with the virus.

Glynn added: "It is not an alarm, it is simply a note of caution for people to take care and take the basic measures we talk about every day."

Meanwhile, The Supreme Court has asked former chief justice Susan Denham to consider the attendance of Justice Seamus Woulfe at the golf event in the west of Ireland last week and report her conclusions and recommendations to the Chief Justice.

Gardai are investigating whether coronavirus regulations were broken in holding the Oireachtas golf society event in Clifden two days after the government announced it intended to curb the numbers permitted to gather together.

The function for more than 80 people was held across two rooms in the hotel in Clifden.

A resurgence in Covid-19 cases in recent weeks has led Ireland to backtrack on some of its plan to reopen society after lockdown.

A Supreme Court statement said: "Justice Denham has agreed to that request and will commence her work immediately.

"Justice Denham has been asked to consider whether Justice Woulfe should have accepted the invitation to dinner.

"In addition, whether he should, in all the circumstances, have left the hotel in the light of the situation prevailing.

"Furthermore, whether he should have attended the golf event without attending the dinner.

"In the context of those questions, Justice Denham has also been asked to consider whether there are any relevant codes of practice or guidelines and to make any recommendations in that regard which she considers appropriate."

The Taoiseach said he could not call on Justice Woulfe to resign.

"I don't believe he should have been at that event, but I think within the judicial arm of government, the judicial arm have to deal with this. The political arm of our constitution can't deal with it," he added.

Micheal Martin also denied that the government is falling apart, adding that it is "tenable".

"It will survive. I've had good meetings with (Tanaiste) Leo Varadkar, with Eamon Ryan in terms of these key issues," he added. "There will be challenges."

Earlier, the Taoiseach confirmed former agriculture minister Dara Calleary has resigned as deputy leader of Fianna Fail.

It comes days after the Mayo TD resigned as minister for agriculture in wake of the golf society dinner in Galway.

Martin said Calleary volunteered to step down from the roles.

The Fianna Fail leader told RTE's Today With Claire Byrne: "He knows he did wrong, he knows he got it wrong and he understood the key point that the actions by him… he doesn't play golf, but by going down to speak he essentially was undermining the authority of the government to bring in restrictions."

On Monday, RTE said that any future projects with broadcaster Sean O'Rourke will not go ahead.

O'Rourke was among those who attended the controversial golf dinner.

In a statement, O'Rourke said: "I spent many years with RTE presenting programmes on which public figures were called to account for their actions.

"Now I must call myself to account.

"The right course is to set aside our plans for my return to the airwaves."

By Michael McHugh and Cate McCurry, PA

source: PA

Copyright 2020 Alliance News Limited. All Rights Reserved.

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