European Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan resigned after he was accused by the Irish Government of breaching COVID-19 rules when he visited the country to attend a Golf Society dinner.
In a letter to European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen on Wednesday evening, the former Irish auctioneer and teacher said it was becoming increasingly clear the controversy was becoming a distraction from his work in Brussels and would undermine such role “in the key months ahead”.
Apologising to the Irish people for “the mistake” he made during his visit to the country, he insisted he always tried to comply with all relevant COVID-19 regulations in Ireland and had understood that he met with all relevant public health guidelines, particularly following confirmation of a negative COVID-19 test.
The Irish Parliament Golf Society dinner, which was attended by about 80 people, also led to the resignation of Irish Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary and Irish Senate Deputy Chairman Jerry Buttimer.
The Irish police are investigating the event to establish whether any regulations were breached.