Dept of Foreign Affairs held champagne reception during lockdown – report 3 weeks ago

Dept of Foreign Affairs held champagne reception during lockdown – report

The gathering took place in the summer of 2020 amid strict Covid-related restrictions.

Officials attached to the Department of Foreign Affairs held a champagne celebration in Dublin during lockdown last year in a manner that appears to have breached public health guidelines.

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It is understood that as many as 20 senior officials and staff gathered at the Department's headquarters in Iveagh House in June of 2020.

According to the Irish Times, the gathering was held following Ireland's election to the United Nations Security Council.

A photograph shows officials and staff standing close together without face coverings.

In a statement released on Wednesday morning (29 December), the Department of Foreign Affairs said that "lessons had been learned" in relation to the event.

At the time of the gathering, Ireland was in Phase Two of its initial reopening plan.

During this time, Covid restrictions meant that people were only permitted to meet up with to six other individuals from outside their household.

A spokesperson for the Department told the Irish Times that the group in question had been working in Iveagh House when Ireland was elected to the Security Council and reacted in real-time.

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“We won in the first round and in a moment of happiness, as the result came in, we briefly let our guard down by celebrating together," they said.

"It was 18 months ago and steps have been taken to ensure lessons have been learned."