Government leaders say "it is clear" breaches of public health guidelines were made by Commissioner 

Government leaders say "it is clear" breaches of public health guidelines were made by Commissioner 
European Commissioner Phil Hogan. Photo.Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister Eamon Ryan have expressed concern over Commissioner Phil Hogan’s attendance at the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner and say it is “clear that breaches of public health guidelines” were made by the Commissioner since he travelled to Ireland.

In a joint statement from the party leaders issued this evening, the Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister Eamon Ryan acknowledged Commissioner Phil Hogan’s recent written and public account of his movements when he travelled to Ireland.

They said that while they welcomed his apology, “concerns remain.” 

The statement 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.” 

The statement went on to say: “People are correctly angered by these actions given the sacrifices so many have made to adhere to public health guidance.

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

The Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Minister Eamon Ryan noted that Commissioner Hogan is accountable to the President of the Commission Ms Ursula von der Leyen, under the legal framework outlined in the Treaties.

“The Government now awaits the outcome of the review being undertaken by the President.

“Ultimately the Commissioner is accountable to the EU Commission, not to the Irish government or to the Oireachtas,” the statement said.

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