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Second Fáilte Ireland board member resigns after she travelled to Spain on holiday despite 'Staycation' campaigns


Breege O'Donoghue

Breege O'Donoghue

Breege O'Donoghue

Minister Catherine Martin has accepted the resignation of former Primark executive and Fáilte Ireland board member Breege O’Donoghue following confirmation that Ms O’Donoghue travelled to Spain during the summer.

She is the second board member to resign after travelling abroad on holiday despite Fáilte Ireland's 'Staycation' campaigns nationwide this summer.

The Irish Examiner reported earlier this evening that Ms O'Donoghue resigned from the board of Fáilte Ireland after queries from the newspaper.

It reported that she travelled to her house in Marbella, Spain, this summer.

The Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Ms Martin said she was "disappointed" to learn that Ms O'Donoghue travelled abroad.

“We are all aware of the devastating impact that COVID19 restrictions have had on the Tourism and hospitality sectors and I am disappointed to learn that a second member of the Board of Fáilte Ireland travelled abroad this Summer, notwithstanding Government advice.

"In order to support our own industry, and in line with the prevailing Government health advice, Fáilte Ireland has been to the forefront in promoting domestic holidays. Ultimately, staying at home supports our tourism industry at a devastating time, showing solidarity in the face of a pandemic that is costing lives and livelihoods across Ireland and the world," she said in a statement this evening.

Ms O'Donoghue resigned this evening and Ms Martin accepted it on the basis that it would be not tenable for her to continue. She thanked her for her service.

"I rang Ms O’Donoghue this evening and she has offered her resignation which I have accepted. I wish to thank Ms O’Donoghue for her service as a member of the Board of Fáilte Ireland and her important contribution to the work of promoting tourism in Ireland during this time. I have accepted her resignation as I believe it would not be tenable for her to continue in the role, given all of the circumstances."

She added that she has sought a meeting with the Board of Fáilte Ireland "at the earliest opportunity".

"I have sought a meeting with the Board of Fáilte Ireland at the earliest opportunity at which I will make clear that members of the Board are expected to show leadership during this time of unprecedented crisis in the sector which they represent," the Minister added.

Ms O'Donoghue retired from her post in Primark in September 2016.

Michael Cawley, the chairman of Fáilte Ireland, resigned earlier in the summer after the Irish Independent revealed that he travelled abroad on holiday.

Fáilte Ireland did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Independent.ie.

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