Irish foreign minister orders inquiry into lockdown champagne party

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·1-min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney has ordered an inquiry into a champagne party attended by his officials during the country’s first national Covid lockdown (Getty Images)
Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney has ordered an inquiry into a champagne party attended by his officials during the country’s first national Covid lockdown (Getty Images)

Ireland’s foreign minister has ordered an investigation into a champagne party involving his officials during the height of the first Covid lockdown last year.

Simon Coveney has denied attending the bash at Iveagh House, which was held in June 2020 while strict measures were in place.

The minister has faced repeated questions about the controversy, which was ignited after his secretary general Niall Burgess, now Ireland’s ambassador to France, tweeted a photo of the event.

The image, which was later removed, showed about 20 officials at the department drinking Moët & Chandon champagne and not wearing masks or adhering to social distancing measures.

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed Mr Coveney had requested a report into the matter.

It is expected the report will be completed by the end of the month.

The news follows weeks of controversy over the gathering of Department of Foreign Affairs staff, held in the aftermath of Ireland winning a seat on the UN Security Council.

Earlier this week, Mr Coveney said he would be happy to answer questions on the matter at the Oireachtas committee on foreign affairs if requested.

Additional reporting by Press Association

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting