Sinn Féin MEP Matt Carthy has said that former Environment and Local Government Minister Phil Hogan is a totally unsuitable candidate to become Ireland’s new EU Commissioner.
He cited Hogan’s record of appointment of cronies to state boards, boasts of preventing a travelling family accessing housing and his record as a government minister. He said the former Minister should expect robust scrutiny from MEPs from several member states.
“Phil Hogan is unsuitable to become Ireland’s new EU Commissioner. His nomination sends out the completely wrong message and shows that this government has not heeded the result of the recent local and European elections.
“This is a real case of jobs for the boys – the Taoiseach is rewarding someone who played a crucial role in his retention of the Fine Gael Leadership during the 2010 heave, regardless of the unsuitability of Phil Hogan to be Ireland’s next commissioner.
“Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams raised a number of serious questions regarding Phil Hogan’s suitability in the Dáil this week which the Taoiseach failed to address before making this nomination.
“You only have to look at the former Minister Phil Hogan’s record to know that he is not a suitable candidature to become Ireland’s new EU commissioner. In recent weeks he has put a number of party cronies on state boards – previously he sent out letters to constituents boasting about his role in preventing a traveller family accessing housing.
“Inquiries into planning malpractices around the state stalled once Phil Hogan took over as Minister for Environment and Local Government. His competence to do the job must also be questioned given his record as a government Minister in relation to issues such as the establishment of Irish Water and the introduction of the household charge.
“But one thing needs to be clear. Hogan may have been nominated by the Taoiseach as Ireland next EU commissioner but he will have to face scrutiny from the EU parliament.
“There will be no easy ride for Phil Hogan from MEPs from Ireland and several member states. He can expect robust questioning from MEPs including Sinn Féin MEPs in relation to his suitability as commissioner.
“Even at this late stage I would urge the Taoiseach to withdraw this nomination and instead propose a new voice to represent Ireland on the EU Commission” Mr Carthy concluded.