The woman who was pictured with Environment Minister Phil Hogan in a five-star resort in Doha, Qatar, has been through a traumatic time and will not be returning to her job at the department – according to her mother-in-law.
Yvonne Hyland recently resigned from her role as PR handler and aide to Mr Hogan, after photographs of the minister with his arm around her hit news stands last December.
Speaking briefly to the Sunday Independent from Newcastle, Co Wicklow, Evelyn Johnston, whose son Andrew is married to Ms Hyland, said the family were now focusing on building on their future together.
"She has been through a traumatic time," explained Ms Johnston, before voicing her support for Ms Hyland.
"We are lucky to have her. She's a lovely girl."
Confirming that the departmental aide would not be returning to work for Mr Hogan, she said the couple would get by without her job as press adviser to the minister. "They'll get by, money is not everything – happiness is," she said. "Life is for living. You've only one life."
Asked if Ms Hyland would return to politics in the future, she replied: "No – she doesn't want to."
Mr Hogan was at a UN conference in the exotic city of Doha, staying at the exclusive Kempinski Residences and Suites as Michael Noonan and Brendan Howlin unveiled his hugely controversial property tax, when he was pictured with his arm around his spokeswoman Ms Hyland.
The plush residence, where Mr Hogan was staying, charges a minimum of €200 per room per night – with the overall trip expected to have cost the taxpayer more than €15,000.
Ms Hyland had previously worked in the Fine Gael press office. Mr Hogan's office hired her shortly after he became minister in early 2011.