Second Fáilte Ireland board member resigns after Spanish holiday emerges

Second Fáilte Ireland board member resigns after Spanish holiday emerges

A BOARD member of the Irish tourism development authority Fáilte Ireland has resigned after it was found that she travelled to Spain for a holiday.

Breege O'Donoghue travelled to her home in Marbella, Spain during the summer despite health advice stating there should be no necessary overseas travel, and the Irish public being asked to 'Staycation' in Ireland this year.

Fáilte Ireland launched a massive campaign urging people to remain in Ireland and explore their own country, both to stem the spread of coronavirus and kickstart the Irish economy.

As reported by The Irish Examiner, Ms O'Donoghue, who is also the former CEO of Primark/Penneys, broke the regulations by travelling abroad on holiday.

Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin, accepted her resignation following the news that she had holidayed abroad; the outlet reports that Fáilte Ireland was unaware of her trip before being approached by The Irish Examiner.

Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht Ms Martin said she was "disappointed to learn that a second member of the Board of Fáilte Ireland travelled abroad this Summer, notwithstanding Government advice."

Ms O'Donoghue is the second Fáilte Ireland board member to resign after going on a foreign holiday during the tourism authority's nationwide 'Staycation' campaign--chairman Michael Crawley resigned in August after being found to have holidayed in Italy.

In a statement, Minister Martin said:

"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.

"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.

"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.”