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Former EU commissioner outlined his movements around Ireland


By PA News

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The EU’s former trade commissioner Phil Hogan gave a timeline of his movements in Ireland to the European Commission.

Travellers into the Republic from countries not included on a green list indicating low risk are requested, under the coronavirus regulations, to restrict their interactions with others for 14 days.

Belgium, where Mr Hogan was based, is not among green list countries.

He said he completed a passenger locator form on arrival in Ireland on July 31, before travelling to his property in Co Kildare.

Mr Hogan stayed in Kildare at his residence in the luxury gated K Club resort (Niall Carson/PA)
Mr Hogan stayed in Kildare at his residence in the luxury gated K Club resort (Niall Carson/PA)

Non-essential outbound travel from Belgium to high-risk regions such as Kildare, which has an elevated infection rate, is not permitted, Ireland’s Department of Foreign Affairs has said.

Mr Hogan stayed in Kildare at his residence in the luxury gated K Club resort, until he was admitted to a Dublin hospital on August 5 for a medical procedure.

It was during this overnight hospital stay that he tested negative for Covid-19, and after he was discharged on August 6 he “briefly” returned to his apartment in Co Kildare.

He believed he was free to travel freely once he had tested negative for Covid-19.

That has been contradicted by the Irish authorities.

The following day he travelled to Kilkenny before extra restrictions came into force in Kildare, due to a spike in cases linked to meat plant workers there.

Mr Hogan went to Dublin to hold a meeting with deputy premier Leo Varadkar and visit the European Commission’s office (Niall Carson/PA)
Mr Hogan went to Dublin to hold a meeting with deputy premier Leo Varadkar and visit the European Commission’s office (Niall Carson/PA)

On August 12 he went to Dublin to hold a meeting with deputy premier Leo Varadkar and visit the European Commission’s office.

The following day, he said he played golf in Adare in Co Limerick in the south west of the country, a course scheduled to hold the Ryder Cup in the future.

Mr Hogan returned to Kilkenny in south-east Ireland, where he was born and spent much of his political career, rising to the environment minister portfolio under former premier Enda Kenny.

According to a document from him published on Tuesday, he travelled from Kilkenny to Galway for the golf and dinner society event via locked-down Co Kildare on August 17.

He was stopped by Irish police for using his phone while driving to the Oireachtas Golf Society event in Galway (Niall Carson/PA)
He was stopped by Irish police for using his phone while driving to the Oireachtas Golf Society event in Galway (Niall Carson/PA)

Mr Hogan was engaged in trade negotiations on behalf of the EU with the US at the time, and believes his journeys were allowable as essential business.

He added: “I stopped briefly in Co Kildare at the property in which I had been staying for the purpose of collecting some personal belongings and essential papers relating to the ongoing negotiations with the US trade representative, Robert Lighthizer, which continued while I was in Co Galway.

“This culminated in an agreement on a package of tariff reductions on August 21.”

He was stopped by Irish police for using his phone while driving to the Oireachtas Golf Society event in Galway.

Mr Hogan spent the following five days in Galway before returning to Kildare on August 21, to collect personal belongings, including his passport.

He said he stayed there overnight to catch an early morning flight to his primary residence in Brussels from the nearby airport.

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