Trade

EU Commissioner Hogan defends attending event that broke coronavirus rules

European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan on Friday defended his presence at a heavily attended golf event in Ireland that has already led to the resignation of the countrys agriculture minister.

More than 80 people attended an anniversary celebration of the Oireachtas Golf Society at a hotel in Galway on Wednesday, in breach of Irelands coronavirus rules.

Hogan tweeted: “I attended the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner on Wednesday on the clear understanding that the organisers and the hotel concerned had been assured [by the Irish Hotels Federation] that the arrangements put in place would be in compliance with the governments guidelines.”

He added he had “fully complied” with Irish rules requiring people entering the country from Belgium to quarantine for 14 days, when he returned to Ireland in late July.

Irelands rules stipulate that indoor gatherings be restricted to 50 people, and have been limited to weddings, as well as artistic and cultural events.

The fallout from the golf society event already claimed the job of Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary, whose resignation was confirmed Friday. Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin wrote in a statement on Calleary: “His attendance at this event was wrong and an error of judgement on his part.”

“People all over the country have made very difficult, personal sacrifices in their family lives and in their businesses to comply with Covid regulations,” Martin added.

A spokesperson for the European Commission told reporters on Friday that commissioner Hogan attended the event “in good faith,” stating she did not have information about how long the commissioner remained at the event.

Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is “informed about the matter,” the spokesperson said.

This is not the first controversy Hogan has been involved in over a golf event. The Irishman Read More – Source
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