Hogan claims Government launched ‘full-scale attack’ on him over Golfgate
© Wonimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images ADDIS ABABA, ETHIOPIA – FEBRUARY 27: EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan attends 10th European Union-African Union Commission-to-Commission meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on February 27, 2020. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Former EU Commissioner Phil Hogan has accused the Government of launching a “full-scale attack” on him over his compliance with Covid-19 restrictions.
Mr Hogan said he was not given “due process” and was “very disappointed” with how he was treated after it emerged he attended an Oireachtas golf event.
In an interview with the Kilkenny People, Mr Hogan said: “The Government had a full-scale attack on my compliance or otherwise.”
Mr Hogan said he “had no option but to resign because of the huge pressure from the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the media”.
“I didn’t get due process, unlike others. I am very disappointed that there was a huge effort concentrated on my resignation.
“I always feel like Irish people expect due process in the right forum. I didn’t get that. I wasn’t given that chance,” he added.
Mr Hogan was forced to resign after days of conflicting accounts he gave about his attendance at the golf event and his subsequent travel around the country. The Government only learned of his trip to locked-down Kildare when they were alerted by Garda Commissioner Drew Harris to Mr Hogan being stopped in the county for being on his phone while driving.© KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images EU commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan answers questions during his hearing at the European Parliament in Brussels on September 30, 2019. – Three commissioners-designate have to go through European Parliament confirmation hearings on September 30. (Photo by Kenzo TRIBOUILLARD / AFP) (Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD/AFP via Getty Images)
Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar later issued a statement saying Mr Hogan should consider his position.
But speaking to his local newspaper, the former Fine Gael minister said: “I broke no law. There was a lot of confusion around the advice. I tried my best. I made mistakes in terms of the interpretation of the regulations.
“The regulations that presently exist are not compatible with the work that MEPs do,” he said.
He said his resignation was “not the way you want it to end” but said he is “very happy with the support” he received since he became embroiled in the controversy.
Mr Hogan said he planned to remain living in Brussels but will be “leaving it to others to comment on Brexit” and the impact it will have on the Irish economy