Leo Varadkar rejects Phil Hogan’s claim that he received ‘full scale attack’ which led to resignation as EU Commissioner
Ciara Phelan 7 hrs ago
© Gareth Chaney/Collins Tanaiste Leo Varadkar.
Leo Varadkar has rejected Phil Hogan’s claim that he received a “full scale attack” which led to his resignation as EU Commissioner.
Mr Hogan stepped away from his role after attending the controversial golfgate dinner in Clifden Co Galway last month.
He said in a statement to the Kilkenny People that he wasn’t given “due process” and was left with “no option” after the government had a “full scale attack” on his “compliance or otherwise.”
The Tanáiste who has previously said Phil Hogan is a “good friend” told the Irish Mirror that he has not spoken to him since his resignation and he “didn’t agree” with his assessment.
He said: “I saw that statement, I don’t agree with the assessment.
“Ultimately nobody in government wanted to lose a Cabinet member or a Commissioner or anyone else and this all could have been avoided if those involved had obeyed our laws and followed the public health guidance and rules and regulations, that was at the heart of this.”© 2020 Anadolu Agency 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)
Mr Varadkar said the “enormous public controversy and anger” that golfgate caused shouldn’t be forgotten.
And that the government couldn’t stand over the actions of those in the “highest office” who didn’t obey public health guidelines.
He said: “We shouldn’t forget why this became an issue of such enormous public controversy and anger.
“It’s because people felt that those in high office, those who make the rules were following them.
“Just think of all of the people who had to cancel their overseas holiday because of the 14 day rule.
“Think of all of the people who couldn’t attend a funeral.
“Think of all of the people in Kildare had to cancel their own domestic trips to other counties.
“We as a government couldn’t stand over a situation whereby we would say those who hold the most important positions, hold the highest office should somehow not have to adhere to minimum standards that we’re asking everyone else to adhere to.”