Phil Hogan not treated like ‘criminal’ over Golfgate, says Taoiseach

Phil Hogan Not Treated Like ‘Criminal’ Over Golfgate, Says Taoiseach
Phil Hogan indicated that he had not ruled out seeking compensation from the European Commission over his resignation in 2020.
Share this article

By Dominic McGrath, PA

The Taoiseach has rejected the idea that Phil Hogan was treated like a criminal in the wake of the Golfgate controversy.

On Monday, Mr Hogan indicated that he had not ruled out seeking compensation from the European Commission, nearly two years on from his high-profile resignation following the so-called Golfgate row.


The former high-profile EU commissioner, who was seen as an influential Irish voice in Brussels during the Brexit negotiations, resigned in August 2020 amid controversy surrounding his attendance at an Oireachtas golfing event in Clifden in Co Galway.

In a subsequent interview with the Irish Independent, Mr Hogan said that the events of the summer nearly two years ago left him “humiliated and treated as a criminal for the past year and a half”.

Mr Hogan also said that the Taoiseach and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar should reflect on the recent outcome of a court case sparked by the event in 2020.

Earlier this month, Galway District Court judge dismissed charges against Galway East Independent TD Noel Grealish, former Fianna Fáil senator Donie Cassidy, John Sweeney and his son James Sweeney, who own the Station House Hotel, of illegally holding the Oireachtas Golf Society event.


Speaking to reporters in Berlin, Mr Martin said that he did not believe that Mr Hogan was treated like a criminal.

Micheal Martin (Embassy of Ireland in Berlin/PA)
Micheál Martin during his visit to Berlin. Photo: PA

“I think the issue that Phil has raised is one between the European Commission and Phil himself.

“He paid a very heavy price for the situation at the time.

While Mr Martin said that Mr Hogan was a “very diligent and effective commissioner”, he said that there was an important “context” at the time.

“I have never looked at this issue through the narrow prism of a legal channel or indeed a court situation.”

He said the broader issue was “public trust in officialdom and government”.

Mr Martin pointed to the resignation of agriculture minister Dara Calleary after the controversy broke.

“His actions did a lot to maintain that trust, between Government and the people”.

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2024, developed by Square1 and powered by