15/08/20

Statement from Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin, T.D.

The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin T.D., has accepted the resignation of the chairman of Fáilte Ireland, Mr Michael Cawley and has made the following statement:

Tourism and hospitality have suffered significant losses since the start of this pandemic, with the industry in the three midlands counties of Laois, Kildare and Offaly particularly affected at present.

As a sign of solidarity with the industry, and to help the country reopen its schools safely, the Government and my department in particular have encouraged people to holiday in Ireland this year. The vast majority of Irish people have heeded that call, and are helping to keep our tourism industry afloat.

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. Mr Cawley has served Fáilte Ireland with energy over his time as chair, and I want to thank him for his service to the cause of tourism promotion in Ireland. He recognises that solidarity with the industry is extremely important at this time, and I have accepted his resignation this afternoon because I believe his position was untenable.

I would encourage everyone to support the tourism and hospitality industries in any way they can, and am taking my own holidays in this country. Failte Ireland will continue to promote holidaying in Ireland, including a special provision to support the reopening of tourism in the three midlands counties.”

Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, 23 Kildare Street, Dublin , D02 TD30. Tel: 01 631 3800 / LoCall: 1890 383 000

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