Former Irish Commissioner Phil Hogan has not ruled out seeking compensation from the EU Commission over the events which led to his resignation in August 2020.
In an interview with the French newspaper Liberation, Mr Hogan disclosed he met the EU Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen a total of four times in the three days following the so-called Golfgate event in Clifden Co Galway during which she made it clear she wanted him to resign from his role as trade commissioner.
Mr Hogan said he did not rule out the idea of “demanding compensation for the damage suffered”.
The development has been seen as stemming from the decision by a judge in Galway this month to acquit two politicians and two hoteliers charged with breaching Covid-19 regulations and laws at event in Clifden in August 2020.
Separately, that decision has prompted a Fine Gael senator who lost the party whip after attending the Clifden event to demand that party leader and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar correct the record of a party meeting held soon after the Golfgate controversy emerged.
Mayo senator Paddy Burke raised the issue at the parliamentary party meeting last Wednesday, saying that Mr Varadkar stated at the time that three party senators – Mr Burke, Jerry Buttimer and John Cummins – had breached Covid rules by attending that event.
In the wake of the Galway court case, he has asked Mr Varadkar – who was not present last Wednesday – to correct the record. All three senators lost the parliamentary party whip for a period arising from their attendance at the event.
The Tánaiste is expected to meet the three senators privately in Leinster House on Tuesday to address the issues raised, ahead of the parliamentary party meeting on Wednesday.
In his interview with Liberation, Mr Hogan has suggested Ms von der Leyen and her staff put pressure on him to step down. The article quotes him as saying she wanted to ended the matter as quickly as possible and wanted him to leave.
“She immediately believed the interpretation given by the Irish Government. It claimed th