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Post attending golf dinner and breaching Covid-19 rules in Ireland, EU trade chief Hogan resists calls of resigning




European trade commissioner Phil Hogan has apologized for attending a golf dinner in his native Ireland and breaching the Covid-19 regulations in the country. But sources say that Hogan is not going to resign as is being called for by the Irish leaders. One of the official who is close to EU trade chief said, “The commissioner is not resigning.”

Hogan, who is Irish representative to the European Commission, was asked by Irish Prime Minister and deputy PM on Saturday to “reconsider his position” after he attended a golf dinner in Ireland causing condemn and public outrage. It has led to many political resignations as an aftermath of breach of coronavirus protocol.

An apology came from Hogan on Friday only after it was demanded from the Prime Minister Micheal Martin. On Sunday, Hogan said in a statement that he listened and acknowledged the views and concerns of Prime Minister and the deputy PM, Leo Varadkar. He noted that all the developments in recent days are being reported to European Commission President Ursula Von der Leyen.

Hogan said in the statement, “I acknowledge my actions have touched a nerve for the people of Ireland, something for which I am profoundly sorry.” He added, “I want, in particular, to apologise to all people who have lost loved ones during this pandemic.”

On Friday, as an aftermath of protocol breach, many lawmakers were disciplined and an Irish cabinet minister quit. These officials were among the over 80 attendees at a dinner party hosted by Parliament’s golf society in west of Ireland. It is to be noted that the event was organized a day after Covid-19 restrictions were extraordinarily tightened in Ireland.

The dinner event has Irish people infuriated, specially because they have had to cancel weddings and not been able to attend funerals owing to regulations. Varadkar has stressed that this event has jeopardized national efforts to control the pandemic as country is facing spike in infections cases.

Hogan’s detailed Sunday apology has been welcomed but Varadkar has called for a detailed explanation of the event for better clarity on his presence at dinner and his movements around the country. Varadkar specified, “If he cant do that, then he needs to consider his position.”


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