Irish politicians attending the Clifden golf dinner complained about the dividing partition - that they couldn't see the speakers or properly hear what was being said, the Irish Independent has revealed.
Some of the attendees, who found themselves in Room B, grouched that they were being treated unfairly in comparison to those in Room A, as the divided halves of the banqueting suite were called.
One person claimed that it was "stupid" that the partition had to be opened slightly to enable Senator Niall Blaney of Donegal to enter Room A from Room B to accept the president's prize.
The whole event came close to being cancelled and was described as a bit of a "damp squib" amid the restrictions.
"Last week there was some mutterings that it mightn't be going ahead," said one politician in attendance.
"But then, seemingly, they vetted the hotel - and the hotel told them, given the then regulations, they could ensure that everything was done according to the law."
Another confirmed: "There was a rumour last week that it wasn't going ahead. But maybe after Monday (and the new restrictions being announced) we should have looked at it again."
There were voices insisting, however, that the Oireachtas Golf Society's half-century had to be marked.
There was also the fact that the family of the late Mark Killilea, a former MEP and founder member of the society, had been invited.
Dara Calleary was a political protégé of Mr Killilea, and a friend.
The source said: "Dara doesn't know the first thing about golf. He and his wife said, 'Well, OK, we will go into this function and say something about Mark Killilea, and then we will be gone to another part of Galway for a few days' break.
"He would have relied on the people who invited him to ensure that they did everything correctly."
It is understood that some of those invited did not feel it appropriate to attend in a time of Covid - and that some said as much.
But any misgivings that former and current TDs and senators may have had seemed banished when they arrived at the Connemara championship golf links at Ballyconneely, where the only apparent cloud on the horizon was the weather.
"We played golf under the regulations. We weren't allowed to take the pin out of the hole to putt, we weren't allowed to use the showers after the golf. We weren't allowed to change in the changing rooms. All of these rules applied all of the time," added the politician.
No drinks were served in the clubhouse without an accompanying order of food, as required under Covid rules. Politicians had no concerns about the event as it was under way.
"Maybe somebody will say, 'Well, wake up and smell the coffee', but I didn't drive all those hours to go to something that broke regulations," said one.
Another said: "Everyone came ready dressed to play, there was no sharing of anything. We were in foursomes, but kept apart."
At the function, an attendee said: "We were all given an A4 sheet with our table, saying there would be two rooms, a one-way system with the toilets, that we should stay socially distanced."
It was candidly admitted: "At one stage I was going to sit with Brian Hayes over in the other room (B) and I was told, 'No you can't sit there, you have to sit where you are placed'. They were quite adamant about that - the hotel staff and the committee.
"Noel Grealish was there, and it was him that was kind of making sure people stuck to the table plan. And then at the end we were told, 'Thanks very much, but it's important given the timeframe that we should leave'."
Members dined on Connemara lamb or darne of salmon, with new potatoes and seasonal vegetables. Starters included goat's cheese, while among the desserts was a fruit compote, with tea and coffee, and petits fours.
"Drink was only served (beforehand) to those who were eating at the hotel. There was no standing at the bar - only ordering, and they would ask you what table you were on," said one attendee.
Later came red and white wine, poured by waiters and waitresses. All staff wore protective face coverings.
He added: "I have been in other hotels, pubs and places where it has been nothing like as compliant. The staff were quick on their feet, the wine was served for you."
Phil Hogan "came and left. He was staying in a different hotel. I saw him leaving pretty early. Somebody came and picked him up".
In terms of the event itself: "You couldn't hardly hear, and people were grousing. You couldn't see them (due to the partition) but you could recognise some of the voices."
Room B was eventually called to attention. "A corner of the thing was pulled back to let people go up and collect a prize. But that was the only time."
There was 'a bit of jeering,' and 'here's the invisible man', said another diner.
"It was a bit of a damp squib."