‘Calleary’s punishment doesn’t fit the crime’ – Healy-Rae

Reacting to the resignation of Dara Calleary from his ministerial role after just 37 days in office, independent TD Danny Healy-Rae said that his punishment “doesn’t fit the crime”.

It was revealed yesterday (Thursday, August 20) that Calleary attended an Oireachtas Golf Society event this week with more than 80 people, in breach of the latest public health guidelines that were announced the previous day.

He resigned from the position of Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine this morning.

Also Read: Dara Calleary has resigned as Minister for Agriculture

While acknowledging that what Calleary did “was wrong and that he should have been more careful”, deputy Healy-Rae said he feels there are still more questions to be answered by others involved in the event.

“Who ran this event, who organised it and where were the advisors for the minister at the time?

In spite of everything, the punishment doesn’t fit the crime. The man made a mistake and put his hands up right away.

“I don’t know what’s happening around the country but it’s very hard to say that everything is perfect.

“I think it is very harsh for him [Calleary] after all the work he has done. It is almost impossible to get into marts at the minute and there are so many things that need to be dealt with.”

‘Very concerned about farm organisations’

Of particular concern for the Kerry TD is “how the farming organisations will be without a minister in government for the third time in three months”.

“Dara Calleary was working his way in and so was Barry Cowen,” the deputy continued.

“Here we are again with no minister for agriculture and all the problems we have at the present time.

The farmers are exposed and this is a savage blow to them.

“Hopefully, we will have a new minister very shortly and hopefully they will survive the test of time.”

Deputy Healy-Rae concluded: “We need a stable minister for once and for all.”