Updated: EU Commissioner Kilkenny's Phil Hogan issues statement, apologises

Commissioner Hogan says he is 'profoundly sorry' in wake of golf dinner


EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan

EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has issued a statement this afternoon saying he is 'extremely sorry' after his attendance at the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner.

Mr Hogan had been asked to 'consider his position' by the Taoiseach and Tanaiste and seen a number of high-profile political resignations. He attended the golf dinnner at Clifden during the week where more than 80 people were in attendance, the day after the government had issued new even more stringent restrictions on gatherings and limiting the number of people allowed to congregate indoors.

The Kilkenny politician has apologised in the following statement:

"I wish to apologise fully and unreservedly for attending the Oireachtas golf society dinner on Wednesday night last. I want, in particular, to apologise to the wonderful healthcare workers, who continue to put their lives on the line to combat Covid-19 and all people who have lost loved ones during this pandemic. I acknowledge my actions have touched a nerve for the people of Ireland, something for which I am profoundly sorry," it said.

"I realise fully the unnecessary stress, risk and offense caused to the people of Ireland by my attendance at such an event, at such a difficult time for all, and I am extremely sorry for this. I acknowledge that the issue is far bigger than compliance with rules and regulations and adherence to legalities and procedures. All of us must display solidarity as we try to stamp out this common plague.

I thus offer this fulsome and profound apology, at this difficult time for all people, as the world as a whole combats Covid-19. I spoke to both the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste yesterday and I have listened carefully to their views, which I respect. I have been reporting to the President of the European Commission on all these matters in recent days."

Supreme Court Judge Séamus Woulfe is also under fire for attending the event.

The Dail is now to be recalled early after the reopening of schools at the end of the month.

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