Ivana Bacik apologises for attending Katherine Zappone's Merrion Hotel event 2 months ago

Ivana Bacik apologises for attending Katherine Zappone's Merrion Hotel event

"Alan Kelly has accepted my apology”.

Labour TD Ivana Bacik has apologised for attending Katherine Zappone’s party in the Merrion Hotel in Dublin last month.

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In a statement, the newly elected TD said she attended the event for "15 to 20 minutes", adding that she "understood the event was within the regulations".

“I confirmed last week that I was briefly in attendance for approx. 15/20 minutes at an outdoor event organised by Katherine Zappone on 21 July,” Bacik said.

She added that head of the Labour party Alan Kelly had already accepted her apology for attending the gathering.

“I understood the event was within the regulations but regret my brief attendance in the circumstances, and apologise for being there. Alan Kelly has accepted my apology,” she continued.

It comes as a number of politicians have been found to have attended large gatherings over recent weeks.

Katherine Zappone confirmed on Wednesday that she will not accept the appointment as Special Envoy on freedom of opinion and expression in a statement that failed to address a 50-person function held days before the announcement of the appointment.

Zappone issued the statement on the same day it was reported that she hosted a private outdoor function attended by the Tánaiste, Bacik and around 50 other people.

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News also broke on Wednesday that Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan attended a large outdoor party organised by a Green Party councillor at Merrion Cricket Club after the Dublin Bay South by-election.

According to the Irish Examiner, the event was organised by Green candidate Claire Byrne on 29 July and was held "to thank those who campaigned” for her in the by-election.

The Irish Examiner reported on Wednesday that photos from the event showed Byrne alongside multiple guests, many of whom were out of their seats, with Byrne saying that "no more than 50 people were in attendance at any one time".

However, the invite to the Green Party event was reportedly sent to 3,500 members.

Meanwhile, video footage also emerged online on Thursday appearing to show breaches of Covid-19 regulations at a pub in Kilgarvin owned by Independent TD Danny Healy Rae.

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The video was uploaded by Radio Kerry's current affairs programme Kerry Today on Twitter, and shows a gathering in the pub with an apparent lack of mask-wearing and social distancing.

The video footage from the gathering shows Healy-Rae in attendance and posing for pictures.