Fáilte Ireland chairman resigns after holiday to Italy 1 month ago

Fáilte Ireland chairman resigns after holiday to Italy

Cawley resigned after coming under criticism for holidaying in Italy.

Fáilte Ireland chairman Michael Cawley has resigned, after it emerged that he travelled to Italy on holiday.

Fáilte Ireland has been carrying out a "major drive to encourage people to take domestic breaks", which resulted in many criticising Cawley's decision to holiday abroad.

A staycation tax rebate was introduced as a further incentive to stay at home, as opposed to holidaying abroad.

Cawley resigned on Saturday morning on a call with Catherine Martin, the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

Martin accepted his resignation, saying: "Tourism and hospitality suffered significant losses since the start of this pandemic.

"While Italy is on the green list, meaning that people who return from there do not have to restrict their movements, the Government has called on people to avoid all non-essential travel. Many of our citizens and residents have followed this guidance at some personal and financial cost to themselves.

"I was disappointed to learn that the Chair of Fáilte Ireland was holidaying in Italy.

"I rang Mr Cawley this morning and he has offered his resignation which I have accepted. I wish to thank Mr Cawley for his service as Chair of Fáilte Ireland."

Earlier on Saturday, Sinn Féin's Tourism Spokesperson Imelda Munster said: “Ireland’s tourism sector is on its knees, as hotels and BnBs struggle with the collapse in international tourism due to the pandemic.

“There has been a major drive to help the sector by encouraging people to take a staycation at home and support Ireland’s tourism industry. Michael Cawley has been at the helm of this drive.

“His decision to holiday abroad undermines his credibility and the campaign for people to holiday locally."