The European Union’s former Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan believes his right to privacy was breached during the events that led to his resignation last week and is considering a formal complaint to Irish authorities.
Hogan quit under political pressure in his native Ireland for breaking the rules on coronavirus travel restrictions to attend a golf-club dinner. He was heavily criticized for giving unclear accounts of his movements to the Irish government and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.
Hogan also received a caution from police for using his mobile phone while driving in Ireland on the August trip. A friend of the former commissioner, who said he was speaking on Hogan’s behalf, described Hogan as furious that this information had been leaked to the media. day later, announcing his resignation, Hogan insisted he didn’t break any law regarding coronavirus rules, but accepted he had become an unwelcome distraction from EU efforts to fight the pandemic, as well as from trade talks. In Dublin, a senior aide to Prime Minister Micheál Martin said it was not accurate to describe the chain of information on Hogan’s traffic offense — which resulted in a caution rather than a ticket and fine — as a “leak.” The Irish official said the commander of the Garda Síochána, or national police, Drew Harris, informed Justice Minister Helen McEntee during a routine briefing that Hogan had been stopped and cautioned by a police officer in County Kildare, where specific COVID restrictions were in place at the time, on his way to the golf dinner in County Galway. McEntee then passed this report to Martin and his deputy, Leo Varadkar.
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