RTÉ presenters apologise after attending leaving party amid Level 5 restrictions 3 days ago

RTÉ presenters apologise after attending leaving party amid Level 5 restrictions

"RTÉ and those involved regret this occurred."

RTÉ presenters have apologised for attending a leaving party for a colleague.

Byran Dobson, David McCullagh and Miriam O'Callaghan were among those photographed at the event this week, alongside RTÉ Managing Director of News & Current Affairs, Jon Williams.

The broadcaster and some attendees have since issued statements apologising for attending the party amid Level 5 restrictions.

RTÉ said the broadcaster takes public health advice "with the utmost seriousness and has implemented detailed workplace protocols which have been in place since the beginning of the pandemic.

"These have been essential in keeping staff and visitors/programme guests safe whilst on site. Because of the measures taken by RTÉ, no cases of Covid-19 have so far been transmitted on campus."

The broadcaster added that social distancing measures were adhered to, and that some members of staff posed for photos, which can be seen here, before leaving the party.

"These contacts were not close contacts as defined by HSPC guidelines," they said. "They were brief casual contacts, which while well intentioned, were unnecessarily risky and should not have happened.

"RTÉ and those involved regret this occurred. Over the last few days we have reminded all staff of their obligations to keep both themselves and the site safe, particularly over the very busy few weeks we are heading into."

Williams, who was also photographed at the event, said: "I deeply regret not thinking through the consequences of a momentary lapse of judgement. It was wrong and I'm very sorry."

Dr Gabriel Scally, president of the epidemiology and public health section of Britain's Royal Society of Medicine, told RTÉ's Claire Byrne that when he became aware of the event, he was "speechless."

He added that such gatherings cannot be permitted to continue "where it looks to people that it is one rule for them but not for prominent individuals."