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Gerry doesn't think Phil's fit to send to Europe.. A "3 or 4 hour session" with MEPs should sort it, says Enda

The Government is expected to announced either Hogan or former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore for the EU post by tomorrow…

Gerry Adams
Gerry Adams
Image: Oireachtas

SINN FÉIN LEADER Gerry Adams has raised questions over Phil Hogan’s suitability to become Ireland’s next EU Commissioner — but the Taoiseach has insisted that who-ever’s nominated for the job will be fully vetted by members of the European Parliament.

Adams pointed to various controversies and “debacles” involving the Environment Minister — who’s long been expected to take over from outgoing Commissioner, Maire Geoghegan-Quinn.

Other Cabinet members have been forced to defend Hogan in recent days, after it emerged that he had appointed seven former Fine Gael and Labour councillors to State boards in recent weeks.

Adams asked whether it would be “inappropriate to nominate” Hogan for the role until certain questions of perceived conflicts of interest could be settled.

Responding, Enda Kenny said it that when filling positions on State boards, it was important to appoint people who “bring a measure of experience and additionality”.

He also said he “didn’t agree with the basis” of Adams’ question, regarding Hogan’s suitability.

Source: Phil Hogan... Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

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Vetting

The Taoiseach also pointed out that who-ever is nominated for the European role would have to answer questions before MEPs ”in regard to their suitability and appropriateness for appointment” — after Adams raised the possibility of incoming commissioners being grilled by TDs here before being confirmed.

“For the first time ever, you’re going to have a few people yourself out there,” he said — referring to Sinn Féin’s positive showing in the recent European elections.

He said that all of the Parliament’s 751 members would have an opportunity to ask questions over a “3 or 4 hours session”.

If and when somebody’s appointed here you can send your questions.

The Government is expected to announced either Hogan or former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore for the EU post by tomorrow, at the same time as the new ministerial positions are confirmed as part of a full Cabinet reshuffle.

Read: Howlin: ‘I am going to work away until somebody tells me that I shouldn’t

Read: Michael Noonan expects there will be a new Cabinet by Wednesday

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Daragh Brophy

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