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'I think I'm doing a good job': Halligan says he isn't resigning after North Korea and interview controversies

His colleague Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran said that he was “embarrassed” when he heard Halligan’s comments on the radio last week.

Transport Minister Shane Ross, John Halligan and Finian McGrath on the steps of government buildings.
Transport Minister Shane Ross, John Halligan and Finian McGrath on the steps of government buildings.
Image: RollingNews.ie

MINISTER OF STATE John Halligan has said that he didn’t consider resigning over a proposed State visit to North Korea to open dialogue with the isolated state and encourage peace talks.

In an interview on Today with Sean O’Rourke, Halligan said that he would go to the ends of the earth as an individual, as a member of parliament, and as a pacifist, to speak about peace and reconciliation.

There’s a part of me that clings to the idea that we should talk peace everywhere.

Speaking about the recent court case where Halligan was found to have asked a female candidate inappropriate questions such as whether she had children, Halligan said that he did regret his actions, but wouldn’t resign.

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.

Last week, Halligan said that he had written to the North Korean embassy in London to request a visit on behalf of himself and two of his Independence Alliance colleagues, Minister for Transport Shane Ross and Finian McGrath.

Despite his insistence that the visit would be done on his own time and wouldn’t be paid through the taxpayers funds, people were enraged that Halligan and Ross had turned their attention elsewhere, with unresolved issues at home (including the ongoing Irish Rail dispute).

Halligan, Ross and McGrath also “annoyed” and “embarrassed” their fellow Independent Alliance member and Cabinet colleague Kevin “Boxer” Moran, who said he first heard of the news on the airwaves.

Last night on RTÉ’s Prime Time, Minister Ross confirmed that the trip was cancelled and that it was never a sure thing to begin with.

“We never had a structured plan to do it, it was [just] talked about.

“I haven’t seen that letter actually,” he said, speaking about the letter Halligan sent to the North Korean embassy.

‘Deeply hurt’

Earlier today on RTE’s Morning Ireland, Minister of State Kevin “Boxer” Moran has said that he was “annoyed” and “embarrassed” when he heard of his colleagues’ plans to visit North Korea for peace talks.

He said that he first heard about it when “it hit the airwaves last week”.

I was annoyed, the lads know that I was deeply hurt over it because it was something that I didn’t think was going to come out.

“But we had meetings over the last number of days, we settled that, there’s no trip to Korea – it’s off and that’s the end of it as far as I’m concerned.”

He somewhat denied claims that when meeting with Ross McGrath and halligan, that he “ate them”, replying that “you shouldn’t always believe what you read in the papers”.

“The trip to north Korea is off the agenda, for now and into the future, trust me on that.”

Read: Taoiseach wouldn’t want anything ‘beastly’ to happen Independent Alliance TDs if they go to North Korea

Read: ‘It’s off’: Shane Ross says that the Independent Alliance won’t be going to North Korea

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