Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North-West Matt Carthy has described the government decision to reappoint Phil Hogan as Ireland’s commissioner as “a missed opportunity”.
Mr Carthy said that Phil Hogan had failed as a Minister and subsequently as a European Commissioner.
Matt Carthy said:
“Phil Hogan’s periods as a Government Minister were marked by failure – most notably in his handling of water charges and the establishment of Irish Water.
“Likewise, during his period as European Commissioner, he has failed to address the inequalities in European agriculture or to stand up for Irish farmers when required.
“His recent defence of the disastrous trade agreement with the Mercosur bloc shows that he was always more concerned about placating EU power-brokers than protecting agriculture interests or the economies of countries such as Ireland.
“This was just the latest of a long line of disappointments in his period as Commissioner including his failure to address unfair trading practices effectively and his support for an EU budget that proposes a 15% cut in CAP while funnelling billions into the European arms industry.
“Phil Hogan’s big political achievements amount to being a wily operator within Fine Gael and playing big roles for the winning candidates during party leadership contests.
“These are the factors that cabinet has rewarded by this appointment. This is clearly a victory for cronyism over competence. This is a missed opportunity.
“At a time when Brexit looms large and when a major debate on the future of the European Union demands an Irish commissioner with a proven track-record, the government should and could have nominated a person with that record that would have the confidence of the majority of Irish people.
“This nomination clearly fails that test.”