Former EU Commissioner Phil Hogan in this morning’s French daily Libération
Further to former EU Commissioner Phil Hogan’s golfgate resignation…
Vie RTÉ News:
In an interview with French newspaper, Libération, Mr Hogan is understood to have suggested taking action against the Commission.
The paper’s long time Europe Correspondent, Jean Quatremer, writes that he met Mr Hogan for an exclusive interview and that Mr Hogan “did not rule out the idea of demanding compensation for the damage suffered“.
Mr Hogan had previously apologised for attending the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden, Co Galway, but denied that he breached Covid-19 quarantine rules.
In the interview, Mr Hogan said that during the golf dinner, he had been sitting next to the former minister for agriculture Dara Calleary, who, he said “participated in the Government meeting which decided on the new restrictions“.
The paper says that Mr Hogan met the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen four times in three days following the controversy, which erupted on 17 August.
On Monday, 24 August, according to Mr Quatremer, Ms von der Leyen asked Mr Hogan to write a precise chronology of his movements.
However, Mr Hogan is quoted as saying that at this meeting he felt “that she wants to end this affair as quickly as possible and that she wants me to leave. She immediately believed in the interpretation given by the Irish Government, which claimed that I had undermined its pandemic strategy by my actions.”
The paper states that the following day, Ms von der Leyen “demanded” that Mr Hogan give an interview to RTÉ “to explain himself”.
Mr Quatremer writes: “A commission president who manages the media agenda of a commissioner is undoubtedly a first.”