BREAKING: Kilkenny’s Phil Hogan ‘profoundly sorry’ for attending golf dinner, but no mention of quitting €330,000 EU role
Ireland’s EU Commissioner – Kilkenny’s Phil Hogan – has offered his “fulsome and profound” apology for attending a controversial golf event in breach of Covid-19 regulations.
However, Mr Hogan made no mention that he intended standing down from his €330,000 EU role in a statement issued a short time ago, despite calls from Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar.
In the statement, Mr Hogan apologised to healthcare workers and to all the people who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.
“I wish to apologise fully and unreservedly for attending the Oireachtas golf society dinner on Wednesday night last, the former Kilkenny TD said.
“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.
“I realise fully the unnecessary stress, risk and offence 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,” he added.
Kilkenny councillor Martin Brett also attended the golf dinner in county Galway. Cllr Brett has lost the Fine Gael whip but he has stated he is still a member of the party.
Cllr Brett told KilkennyNow.ie on Friday that he had no intention of stepping down from Kilkenny County Council.