06/10/2022

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has called on EU Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan to “listen to the Taoiseach and Tánaiste” and consider resigning due to the fallout from the Oireachtas golf society dinner.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has called on EU Commissioner for Trade Phil Hogan to “listen to the Taoiseach and Tánaiste” and consider resigning due to the fallout from the Oireachtas golf society dinner.
Minister Donnelly told RTÉ’s Morning Ireland programme Mr Hogan should “consider his position” as the impact of the golf event in Clifden, Co Galway, last week has “eroded people’s confidence” in Covid-19 safety measures.
“What happened in Galway is an absolute disgrace. It is a slap in the face for every man woman and family who has made sacrifices in so many different ways. 
“I believe the Commissioner [Phil Hogan] should listen to the Taoiseach and Tánaiste and I agree with their position that he should consider his position,” Minister Donnelly said.
“As Minister for Health, I’m less interested in what happens for any one individual. What I have to focus on is making sure we are progressing this virus as well as we can.
“What really annoyed me about Galway is that it eroded people’s confidence quite rightly, people were furious and they were right to be furious.
“My message is the virus hasn’t gone away. We are at a tipping point in Ireland right now. We must do everything we can to avoid another national lockdown.”
In a joint statement yesterday evening Taoiseach Micheál Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Green Party leader Eamon Ryan said they acknowledge Mr Hogan’s recent written and public account of his movements when he travelled to Ireland.
However, they said concerns remain.
The three party leaders said that Mr Hogan’s “delayed and hesitant release of information has undermined public confidence”.
The golf society dinner took place at the Station House Hotel in Clifden
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The joint statement came after Mr Hogan provided details to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen about his time in Ireland leading up to his attendance at the Oireachtas golf society event last week.
The information was provided following a request by Ms von der Leyen.
In the documents, Mr Hogan said he tested negative for Covid-19 during a hospital visit on 5 August and received a negative Covid-19 test while in hospital.
He said this meant he was “not under any subsequent legal requirement to self-isolate or quarantine”.
However, the Department of Health has said a person is required to restrict their movements for 14 days if they arrive into Ireland from a country not on the Green List.
It said the guidance does not state that a negative Covid-19 test shortens the 14-day requirement.
In their statement, Mr Martin, Mr Varadkar and Mr Ryan said the Government guidelines “clearly required him to restrict his movements for 14 days”.
They said 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.