Phil Hogan 'entitled to have his case heard', TD says

Mr Hogan says he has not ruled out taking action against the European Commission
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.37 21 Feb 2022

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Phil Hogan 'entitled to have h...

Phil Hogan 'entitled to have his case heard', TD says

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

21.37 21 Feb 2022

Share this article

A Fine Gael TD says Phil Hogan is 'entitled' to have his case heard after his resignation over the Golfgate controversy.

Bernard Durkan was speaking as the former European Commissioner has suggested he may seek compensation over his resignation.

In an interview with French newspaper Libération, Mr Hogan said he had not ruled out taking action against the European Commission.


The report also noted that Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has refused to apologise to Mr Hogan over the incident.

It comes after a court in Galway dismissed all charges against four people accused of breaching lockdown laws by organising the event in the Station House Hotel in Clifden.

Mr Hogan resigned back in August 2020 after days of increasing pressure following his attendance at the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner.

At the time, he said: "I deeply regret that my trip to Ireland - the country that I have been so proud to represent as a public servant for most of my adult life - caused such concern, unease and upset".

Kildare-North TD Bernard Durkan told The Hard Shoulder: "He certainly has an arguable case.

"I don't want to second-guess the courts - but if he feels that he has an arguable case, he has the right to take the case.

"If he was told to resign - and I wasn't there at the time, I have no verification of that - but the fact is he has an entitlement to have his case heard."

Deputy Durkin says 'due process and natural justice' are missing from a number of situations.

"People will say that the court of public opinion has to be faced: public opinion unfortunately can be wrong.

"In fact it has been wrong and proved to be wrong on a number of occasions.

"Where the individual is wronged and perceived to be wronged, and determined to be wronged by the courts, I think that the individual has a right to protection and a right to compensation".

'Kangaroo courts can't make decisions'

Citing examples such as Alan Shatter and Frances Fitzgerald, he says: "They were condemned to have done some wrong by people in the House and outside the House - who didn't have any information other than hearsay.

"They were deemed to have not done their duty, or have done something that was against the law.

"They were ultimately proven not to have done anything that breached the law, and as such would be entitled to recompense".

Mr Durkan says 'arbitrary court martial' by the public can't be allowed to happen.

"The general idea is that the public by way of arbitrary court martial don't have any right to say 'I have lost confidence in you, you're gone'.

"Due process and natural justice hasn't prevailed, and hasn't been allowed to prevail.

"There is in this country, in recent times, growing incidence of people arbitrarily deciding that somebody else has done wrong, even though they don't know.

"We can't have a situation where kangaroo courts make decisions".

Asked if he believes Mr Hogan did wrong, Deputy Durkan says: "I don't know, I wasn't there and it wasn't tested in court.

"He came forward and he said that he broke no law".

Put to him by host Kieran Cuddihy that Mr Hogan broke guidelines, Mr Durkan replied: "Guidelines are not the law".

Main image: Composite image shows Phil Hogan in Washington, DC in February 2015, and Bernard Durkan at Leinster House in 2017. Picture by: USDA Photo/Alamy Stock Photo/Sam Boal/

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Bernard Durkan Compensation European Commission European Commissioner Galway Golfgate Kangaroo Courts Kieran Cuddihy Libération Phil Hogan The Hard Shoulder

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