April 21, 2024

Three party leaders turn screw on EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, joint statement says ‘it’s clear’ Kilkenny man breached public health guidelines

Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tanaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan tonight issued an extraordinary joint statement criticising the EU Commissionr Phil Hogan, saying it is clear the Kilkenny man breached public health guidelines.

Mr Hogan has been in the eye of a public storm after it emerged he attended an Oireachtas Golf Club Society dinner in county Galway which was attended by 81 people.

In the joint statement tonight, the party leaders welcomed Mr Hogan’s renewed apology, but they added that “concerns remain”.

The party leaders said: “It is clear that breaches of public health guidelines were made by Commissioner Phil Hogan since he travelled to Ireland.

“The government guidelines clearly required him to restrict his movements for 14 days. He should also have limited his movements to and from Kildare for essential travel only, and he should not have attended the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner.

“People are correctly angered by these actions given the sacrifices so many have made to adhere to public health guidance.”

The statement added: “In addition, his delayed and hesitant release of information has undermined public confidence.”

The standoff with Mr Hogan continued after the statement was issued. The former Kilkenny man later took to Twitter to deny that he did not accept public health expert advice.

He said: “Regarding my earlier interview with [RTÉ] just to clarify: I never said that I don’t accept the HSE advice, I was taking issue at the proposition put to me in the interview.

“At all times, I acted in good faith on the basis of the information available to me.”

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