Covid-19: Irish tourism chief resigns over holiday in Italy

Fáilte Ireland chairman ignored Irish government advice to avoid non-essential travel abroad.

The chairman of Ireland's national tourism authority has resigned after going on holiday to Italy, contrary to government advice to avoid non-essential travel abroad.

Michael Cawley quit his post as chair of Fáilte Ireland, amid protest from politicians, after he confirmed to the Irish Independent newspaper on 15 August that he was on vacation in Italy.

Ireland's tourism minister Catherine Martin accepted Cawley's resignation, stating that she was "disappointed to learn that the chair of Fáilte Ireland was holidaying in Italy."

"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," said the minister.

Cawley stated that he was standing down because he did not wish the controversy over his Italian vacation to distract from Failte Ireland’s 'staycation' campaign promoting domestic holidays to rebuild the hard-hit Irish tourism industry.

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