The Government made clear that it had lost confidence in Phil Hogan and felt his position as Ireland’s commissioner was no longer tenable. On Wednesday evening, the Kilkenny man finally acquiesced to their call for him to “consider his position”. It leaves a considerable vacuum, one that must be quickly filled.
Micheál Martin must feel that he can’t catch a break, with controversy and calamity dogging this Government in the 61 days since he became Taoiseach. He needs to fill the vacancies created by the departures of Hogan and Dara Calleary, the Minister for Agriculture who resigned as soon as the implications of the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner became apparent. Calleary’s replacement is, in political terms, a decision for the Taoiseach, drawing from the ranks of Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party, but the commissioner role is an entirely different matter.