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Well! That was quite the 24-ish hours. We don’t quite know the full ramifications it all yet but it feels important to remember and document everything.

So… a thread:
7pm on 20 August: The Irish Examiner published the story and @aoifegracemoore tweets it out. In my version, she hit send while taking a big gulp of red wine like Olivia in Scandal (before she went bad).

By 8.40pm, political reporters and correspondents are being texted then-Minister Dara Calleary’s apology.
The anger was building and building… Bosco got involved

This didn't feel like a Leinster House bubble story.

The story led #RTEpt but we weren’t quite aware yet just how big it was going to be. Although there was already an acknowledgement by @MiriamOCal of how important the journalism was to bring this story to light.
At 10.20pm, @Independent_ie sent a news alert to confirm broadcaster Sean O’Rourke and EU Commissioner Phil Hogan were also at the event.

Another apology before 11pm with Senator Jerry Buttimer getting in before the rush ...

1am-ish: The New York Times got wind of it in quick-smart time!…
2am-ish: I guess some people went to bed around now...
We woke up to Rising Time and the news that Dara Calleary would be on Morning Ireland and other breakfast shows.

But alas… the programme wasn’t even 37-minutes-old when that plan was in the bin.

That only means one thing.

Within 20 minutes, Calleary was gone.
They say morning is the best time to apologise - Noel Grealish TD…
The apology didn't cut it though... so another resignation: Jerry Buttimer as leas-chathaoirleach of the Seanad
Just after 10am, in time-honoured tradition, the ex-minister Dara Calleary went on local radio - the Tommy Marren Show here if you wanna listen back. I'm not sure why you'd want to do that, but each to their own.…
Meanwhile, on @TodayRadioRTE Sarach Mc invites her predecessor SOR on the show to answer questions about the event he attended.

The nation gasps, tbh.
Before 10.30am, An Garda Síochána confirm they are investigating the event in Galway
People start looking forward to Liveline, but first, Phil Hogan pokes the bear again. He issues tweets, doesn’t apologise:

Sorry is the hardest word, etc.

I’m already tired of this thread… but hang in with me. I’m too far in to stop now.
Actually, that’s a good place to remember this brilliant moment from SMI

Fine Gael had been fierce quiet but then a seemingly co-ordinated release of tweets from Varadkar and Harris. The FGers at the dinner lost the party whip.

(The FFers had theirs removed too):…
It’s noon. You know what that means. Another apology of course. Supreme Court judge Seamus Woulfe was up. He says he didn’t know there was a dinner planned.…
Yes, the initial statement included an unfortunate typo (probably the most common one known to man/editor)

Unsurprisingly, opposition leaders start to call for the Dáil to return.

(Spoiler: This is later refused)

Oh, by the way, it’s already been confirmed at this stage that Michael Martin will be Agriculture Minister for the next three weeks (until Dáil does resume and he finds someone from his benches who could last longer than Lent).

Damn, I'm out of tweets. TBC
Next: the Irish Hotel Federation double down a bit.…
Then Liveline with @KatieGHannon begins. And while we knew about the anger, callers rationally and reasonably explained that anger in what was one of the most powerful pieces of radio this country has heard.
In place of manufactured outrage were stories, all different but with a dark thread in common, of love and loss which resonated with every listener.
A man, distraught, said he has no closure over his mam’s death because they couldn’t be with her or hold a funeral.

The vision of two sisters sitting in a car talking after seeing their brother like this.

A mother-of-the-bride and a bride talked of missed dates, deposit losses and changing dreams.

They don't complain. They know they did the right thing.
A man in Kildare talked about how isolating lockdown is for his son with special needs without trips to Dublin Airport and his swimming pool

Donal sums up the importance of the show here:

The contributions to @rteliveline are summed up by @orladwyer_ here…
Back to the politics of it... The final leader of the govt party trio made a statement to say he hopes the scandal won’t impact the work of government. We’ll see…
Getting the mood of the nation, @NickyRyan_ sent a @thejournal_ie newsletter with the subject line: “The absolute state of them”

(You should sign up if you haven't already)

In a little-used Twitter account, Sean O’Rourke offered no defence, but a full apology for attending the event
There was a little breather in the middle of the afternoon where there were no apologies or resignations … but all newsrooms were gearing up for the LOKdown announcement.

Poor Kildare.
In true form, Leo Varadkar got the jump on the official announcement - that Kildare would be kept locked down while Laois and Offaly were (relatively) freed

👀The briefing about that LOKdown was called for 4.45pm. Just Donnelly and Glynn - no Taoiseach or Tánaiste. 👀
Obviously, it was not exactly uneventful. Rundown here from @michellehtweet - who is off on her holidays now. What will she be returning to?

Let's pick out that bit of controversy from the briefing as an advisor tries to stop @pthosford from asking a question

Through that briefing, we got more of Glynn appealing to us all to have more common sense, and not accidentally find ourselves at dinners with 80 other people…
Oh and we also got more details of Phil Hogan’s isolation - he left Kildare in the nick of time, it seems.

(Silver linings, Kildare? heh heh)…
Where am I? Right about 5.30pm. We get word Micheál Martin is going to be on the Six One with @CaitrionaPerry. Yep, the same one that presented @MorningIreland - but we don’t operate time anymore, remember?
While in Montrose, MM called on Phil Hogan to apologise properly. God, being told to apologise properly is very Irish isn’t it?

"Sorry, Seán."
Meanwhile, Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said the Oireachats Golf Society should be wound up “as a matter of urgency”.

Because they can’t have nice things.

Something in this will be a great pub quiz question some day.…
Meanwhile II, @ConorGallaghe_r has a story that one of the lads (former TD Paudge Connelly no less) was in Spain a few days ago. Also golfing. He won a prize.…
^That’s the most-read piece on the Irish Times. Which is fascinating, but also, of course it is. 🙌
Are you still with me? I'm now on my second listen of @taylorswift13's Folklore. Did you see she just completed a student's Go-Fund-Me today? Taylor for Taoiseach.…
And yes, it’s hard to keep up with the who’s who. @Ste_McDermott has you covered…
While we’re all at this, the WHO is telling us they hope - HOPE - the pandemic will be over in two years. So the same time as Martin’s Taoiseach-ship…
I genuinely can’t remember a story producing such palpable anger from the whole country.

Not even during the recession.

Irish Water was more divisive - this is almost cohesive.
My theory for why: We can’t be angry at a virus. It exists solely to cause spread devastation. It knows no better. So when it takes our freedom and our loved ones, we have to use our logic and sacrifice to survive.
But when people who know better put that survival in jeopardy/make a mockery of that sacrifice, we can unleash the anger we - of course - have for the virus and point it at them.

And that’s without bringing in the systemic issues which are making this so much harder to fight.
In some ways today could have been much more divisive than it was. Maybe that’s to our credit as a country - the ordinary people of this country, not the ruling class.
Also, a shoutout to some of the incredible journalism by so many newsrooms - online, print and broadcast.

If you can, please consider a subscription or contribution to the outlets you use.

TJ's is here:
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