Resignation of Failte Ireland Chair

The Chairperson of Fáilte Ireland resigned on Saturday 15th of July, 2020. Micheal Cawley resigned after it emerged that he was planning to holiday in Italy, while he and the government were calling on others to holiday in Ireland. Minister for Tourism, Catherine Martin TD, accepted his resignation. Many felt the chairperson was hypocritical at this time by deciding to go on a non-essential trip to Italy. The news was first reported in the Irish Independent.

Minister Catherine Martin accepted the resignation of the chairman of Fáilte Ireland, Mr Michael Cawley saying:

While Italy is on the green list, meaning that people who return from there do not have to restrict their movements, the Government has called on people to avoid all non-essential travel. Many of our citizens and residents have followed this guidance at some personal and financial cost to themselves. I was disappointed to learn that the Chair of Fáilte Ireland was holidaying in Italy. I rang Mr Cawley this morning and he has offered his resignation which I have accepted.

CEO of Failte Ireland, Paul Kelly, thank Mr. Cawley for his time as Chairperson:

Michael has been an invaluable support to the Executive team at Fáilte Ireland.  He has made a significant contribution to developing and growing the tourism sector in Ireland. On behalf of the Executive team and staff I want to express my thanks to Michael and I wish him well in the future.

Opposition spokesperson, Imelda Munster TD, Sinn Fein, said:

The Chairman of Fáilte Ireland’s decision to holiday abroad in Italy was clearly an error of judgement. It undermines his own organisation’s campaign to support staycations and shows he does not have sufficient faith in the very industry he is employed to promote.