CEO of Bord Bia says family visit to France was for ‘essential reasons’

By David Raleigh

The chief executive of Bord Bia has said that she, and her husband and their three children, travelled from their home in Dublin to France in June to care for her mother-in-law – “in line with Health Service Executive [HSE] guidelines.”

A Bord Bia spokesperson said that the entity’s CEO Tara McCarthy, originally from Dunmore in west Cork, travelled to France with her family on June 13 and returned to Ireland on August 16.

The Bord Bia spokesperson stressed that the family’s 63-day stay in France was “not” a family holiday.

Ms. McCarthy and her family have been “self-isolating” since their return to Ireland 10 days ago.

A Bord Bia statement sent to this reporter, read:

“Bord Bia confirms that on Saturday, June 13, Tara McCarthy, CEO, accompanied her husband, French citizen Didier, and their three children to France for the purpose of assisting Didier with the care of his elderly mother who has Alzheimer’s disease.

In line with HSE guidelines, caring for a family member abroad is essential travel.

The statement added: “In advance of travelling to France, Tara informed the chairman of Bord Bia and the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine of her intention to travel and reasons for doing so.

“She continued to work remotely during this time and took a number of days annual leave in August to contribute to the primary care of her relative.”

Bord Bia CEO was ‘fully compliant with all HSE advice’

The statement continued:

“Fully compliant with all HSE advice, Tara and her family returned home on August 16 and are self-isolating for 14 days.

This return date was specifically chosen to facilitate her children to self-isolate for two weeks before returning to school in September.

Ms. McCarthy and her family travelled “by ferry from Dublin”, her spokeswoman said.

The family of five did not undergo testing for Covid-19 prior to departing or prior to returning on August 16 as “this was not a requirement, and that remains the case”.

“As stated, they followed and complied with all HSE guidelines,” the spokeswoman added.

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On the day Ms. McCarthy and her family departed for France, the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) said it had been notified of five Covid-19 deaths, as well as 46 new confirmed cases of the virus.

This brought the total number of confirmed Irish cases to 25,295 (at that time) and the total number of Irish Covid-19 deaths to 1,705, while France had reported 526 new cases on the same day.