Ireland's Environment Minister Phil Hogan has apologized to ex-Prime Minister John Bruton's former administrator, Anne O'Connell, for a lewd remark he made at last year's Oireachtas golf outing.
The 70-year-old O'Connell had written a complaint about the matter to Prime Minister Enda Kenny and copied the letter to Hogan. She described in her letter how she felt "completely traumatized" after Hogan spoke to her in a manner that was "demeaning, insulting and degrading" at the outing in Connemara last August, reports the Independent.
Within a few days, Hogan sent her what she called "a scribbled note" of apology, but the prime minister has failed to respond.
She did, however, receive a note from Kenny's assistant private secretary acknowledging receipt of the letter, and a promise to bring the matter to the Taoiseach's attention. O'Connell wrote him again in September, saying she was "surprised" not to have received a reply. To date, she still has not received a response.
"I am a very angry woman. I just wanted a little bit of respect. Why was I not worthy of respect?" said O'Connell, who lives in Lahinch, Co Clare.
In her letter, O'Connell said Mr Hogan had made a "demeaning, insulting and degrading remark. . . to me in public." And as a result she said she felt "traumatised". She added that she was so upset that she could not go the golf dinner that night because she feared she might run into Hogan again.
In his apology letter, Hogan wrote: "I unreservedly apologise for those remarks which were totally inappropriate in a personal sense. . . It was intended in a jocose and private basis and certainly not intended as insulting."
A spokesman for Enda Kenny told the Sunday Independent on Saturday: "The Taoiseach's office understood, following contact with the minister, that an apology had been issued and that therefore further correspondence was not required."
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