Friday, November 10, 2017

John Halligan has responded to those calling for his resignation in the wake of the furore surrounding the question he asked a female candidate in an interview last year.

Halligan asked the official whether she was married, if she had children and how old the children were.

“I think I’m doing a good job… I believe in what I’m about… I’m determined to keep doing what I’m doing,” the minister told Sean O’Rourke.

Speaking from Thailand this morning, Halligan said that if the Taoiseach makes the decision that he no longer wants him then he would respect that decision.

“I acknowledge that I was wrong and I apologise for that and I’m disappointed that I did ask that particular question.

“It was purely my intention to relax the interviewee, I’m not a professional interviewer, and I’m not… it was a genuine mistake.”

When asked whether he had put the question to any male candidates, Halligan said that he had “for the very same reason to be accommodatory”.

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik is among those who have called for Halligan to resign. Senator Bacik said that the question was completely unacceptable and that he should step down.

However, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan told Midlands 103 that he believes that what happened was not a “hanging offence” and that his resignation was not necessary.

Minister Halligan’s department was ordered this week to pay a woman €7,500 in compensation over the incident.

Halligan has offered to pay the money from his own pocket and cover the legal costs.

Listen to John Halligan’s full interview below:

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