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Phil Hogan visited Kildare again before returning to Brussels but spokesperson says it wasn’t in breach of regulations

It's as opinion remains divided as to whether or not he'll retain his EU Trade Commissioner role

It’s emerged Phil Hogan visited Kildare again before returning to Brussels.

The Irish Independent reports the EU Trade Commissioner stayed in the lockdown county the night before he went back.

A spokesperson says it wasn’t in breach of the regulations as he was in Kildare to collect his belongings.

Euronews Political Correspondent Darren McCaffrey says Phil Hogan remains under intense scrutiny over the golfgate scandal noting “I think to a degree you know this is still a changing story, I think the Commission is concerned by the very fact okay it is August & there’s not much news around, but it is dominating the Brussels bubble at least if it’s not with public opinion elsewhere but I think, you know, given the fact that the Commission’s having to deal with an awful lot of stuff that he probably, if he’s determined to dig in and hold on, he probably will”.

Midlands-North-West MEP Luke Ming Flanagan thinks the Kilkenny man should lose his job over the entire golfgate scandal saying “Whether he likes it or not he is just as likely to get the Coronavirus as anyone else, just as likely to pass it on as anyone else and so really what we’re discussing at the moment is is Phil Hogan indispensable whereas Dara Calleary isn’t and I would argue that Phil Hogan is not indispensable & that we can survive without him”.

It comes as two MEPs say the government’s credibility has been so badly damaged by the refusal of Phil Hogan to stand aside, that a general election is needed.

Mr Hogan’s sending ‘additional information’ to Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen after she asked for further clarity on his part in the GolfGate scandal.

Dublin MEP Clare Daly says the row’s a “handy diversion” for the government, and a vote should be immediately – a call backed by her Independents 4 Change colleague Mick Wallace.

But Social Democrats co-leader Róisín Shortall says a general election now would be “dangerous”.

Meanwhile, a local Councillor says it’s not just politicians who are starting to bend the rules around Covid restrictions.

A local hotel has also confirmed to KCLR that it had a hundred people at a wedding three weeks ago.

The maximum for indoor event was 50 at the time and a hotel spokesperson said they split the guests between different rooms.

Cllr David Fitzgerald says we all need to return to keep to the spirit of the Covid-19 restrictions.