Former senator from Killarney on dinner guest list

Resigned: Former European Commissioner Phil Hogan

A SENIOR Kerry politician has insisted that people should remember the many good things Phil Hogan did while he served as European Commissioner.

MEP Seán Kelly said there is no doubt that Mr Hogan was a very effective and highly respected commissioner but he is now paying “a high price” for serious errors in judgement.

Mr Hogan resigned last night following the festering controversy over his attendance at an Oireachtas golf dinner in Clifden, Co Galway and the extent of his travel itinerary during travel restrictions prior to and after the event.

“Many will find fault with him but the many good things he did, his accessibility to Irish visitors and generosity should be remembered too,” said Mr Kelly who would have worked closely with Mr Hogan in the European Parliament.

MEP Seán Kelly
Former senator Paul Coghlan

The attendance at the controversial dinner also included retired Killarney Senator Paul Coghlan who has since apologised for being there.

The 76-year-old former Mayor of Killarney is understood to have spent three nights in the Station House Hotel in Clifden and he played golf during his visit as well as attending the controversial dinner with over 80 others.

Mr Coghlan, a committee member of the Oireachtas Golf Society, is a long-time party colleague and personal friend of Phil Hogan. The now resigned Commissioner has been a relatively regular visitor to Killarney over the years.

It is understood that former Tánaiste and Labour leader, Dick Spring, played at the golf outing in Connemara but left immediately afterwards and did not attend the dinner.

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