Too Phil To Fail? [Updated]


EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan

1pm UPDATE: EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has provided around 20 pages of documents to the President of the European Commission in the ongoing controversy over his trip to Ireland and the Clifden golf dinner, according to an EU official.  The documents include guidelines from the Irish Hotels Federation and a map of Ireland showing individual counties.


European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen has given a deadline of 1pm Dublin time to Phil Hogan to submit a full account of his movements in Ireland.


It has emerged that following [EU Commission President] Urulsa von der Leyen’s request there were “further contacts” but an EU source last night sounded a pessimistic note saying they “could not say whether she received all clarifications or not

There are growing doubts among senior Ministers that Mr Hogan can hold on to his role as EU trade commissioner.

Doubts grow in Dublin, Brussels over Phil Hogan’s future amid controversy over golf event travel (Irish Times)


Hogan could, in theory, be dismissed by Commission President Ursula von der Leyen. But it is hard to see what advantage she could accrue from toppling her trade commissioner and destabilizing her administration for the sake of calming a political storm in a country that accounts for only 1.1 percent of the EU’s population.

Only once has a commissioner been obliged to resign — Malta’s John Dalli in 2012, amid allegations that the tobacco industry sought to bribe the then commissioner for health to alter proposed legislation.

No such corruption is involved in the case of the golf society dinner. The allegation is rather one of rank hypocrisy: that the politicians in attendance were ignoring the coronavirus measures they had imposed on others.

Why Phil Hogan will survive ‘golfgate’ (Politico)


49 thoughts on “Too Phil To Fail? [Updated]

  1. GiggidyGoo

    A lot of holes appearing in Hogan’s account (s) of events. Von der Leyen and the Eurofolk are getting a taste of the parish pump politics that we’ve had here for a century. The EU will find that a lot of appointments by our Government to Europe have basically been a jettison of what might be termed ‘dregs’ of our Political and Financial society.

    By the looks of things at the moment, the EU are taking this quite seriously. If they allow Hogan to continue, then they will have quite a job explaining it on the world stage – as to how a person can deceive, distract, deflect and remain at the helm as Trade Commissioner. If he can do this to his own Country and ‘ European Community’, then what qualms would he have doing it elsewhere?

    1. Haroo

      I would consider myself quite pro-EU in general but have you ever looked into Von Der Leyen’s past and performance as German Defence Minister. In particular the IT contract scandal and deleted text messages.

      We are not the only one’s sending the dregs to Europe.

      Parish pump politics is rife, it just goes under different names.

    2. SOQ

      And then there is the politics of it all- where every country wants to get their man or woman at the helm, so will use your second point as a stick.

      Was he not up for a big job with WHO recently? So much for being indispensable to the Brexit negotiations.

        1. SOQ

          So could the whole Galway thing have been a two fingers at the WHO then? Serious collateral damage if it was.

          1. ratto

            This comment illustrates everything that you are about: jumping on hatstand conspiracy theories based on paranoia through a lens of uncritical faculty.

          2. SOQ

            No darlin- I use Brave rather than Chrome now and as an old Queen I still cannot figure how to enlarge the text?

            Feel free to advise. It is a disability- a bit like those who do not wear masks.

  2. Otis Blue

    Coming so soon after his whoring for the WTO job, he’ll be a lame duck Commissioner in the eyes of VDL.

    Not what she needs at the moment with a messy Brexit looming and EU/US trade tensions. If he’s lied or been less than honest in his account to her, she’ll have a her “get out of jail free card”.

    Take all the time you need Ursula.

    1. bisted

      …after the WTO debacle, surely the EU realise that the EU Commissioner job is treated like a sinecure by successive Irish governments…Pee Flynn, Charlie McCreevy…ffs…

  3. Boj

    Why is this so difficult? Going on for days now… If I break the law there are consequences, why is it not the same for the 80+ highly paid numbskulls involved with running this booper of a show. There are no excuses. Has anyone got any logic in support of him…cos I cant find any. Get out..simple as.

    1. Haroo

      Don’t you dare speak about those people like that. Know your place, filth!
      It is a complex issue whereby the people who make, interpret and question the rules may not have to follow them. They did always say they need the “public” to follow the guidelines and rules to stem the spread of the virus. It is about mass and collective action of the majority of people. Not everyone. As they are the architects and judges of these rules then clearly a perk should be that they are exempt from them.
      A privilege can be legal or constructive. Legal it is statute, on the books. Constructive is by operation or past performance. Given that they hardly abide by any social norms or laws why would they be expected to abide by these ones.

        1. millie madonna

          Because they don’t actually give a poo about anyone other than themselves, I’d wager. Self interest runs at the heart of a lot of these kinds of decisions.

          ‘Oh well I’ve been careful, it can’t/won’t affect me’ etc.

  4. diddy

    and what about that other slippery little weasel brian hayes? he’s not been given any grief. I’d leave big phil in there. better to have that boo boo there for brexit

    1. Andyourpointiswhatexactly?

      He’s private industry now. Keeping a VERY low profile which is most unlike him.

    2. GiggidyGoo

      Hayes should have his facilities of access to Government removed, which in turn should result in removing him from the Banking federation. Like the rest of to boyos and their partners in Clifden, he doesn’t give a flying ++++ about anyone/anything bar himself and his cronies.

  5. Aon duine

    To appease the gods, and be in with a chance of a remission from this pestilence, I suggest we toss Bulk Hogan into the nearest active volcano

  6. Cian

    The allegation is rather one of rank hypocrisy: that the politicians in attendance were ignoring the coronavirus measures they had imposed on others.

    This is not accurate. Phil Hogan is not a serving Irish politician and didn’t impose any covid measures on us. In fact, there were only two TDs involved.

    1. bisted

      …Nice spin Cian…RTE reporting that Ursula is demanding Phil publish a timeline of his travels in Ireland…you know, the stuff he keeps forgetting…

    2. Haroo

      Yeah true. But former TD and minister. Not exactly someone without political clout or leverage and a current European public servant. It is the EU’s hymn sheet that we need to abide by the covid regulations in respective member states.

      1. Cian

        Yes, they are politicians, but they aren’t imposing restrictions on others.

        The majority of the COVID legislation has been done by SIs – so is signed by the relevant Minister(s). It doesn’t go to the Dáil or the Seanead.

        The cabinet have been “imposing coronavirus measures” on the rest of us.

      1. scottser

        next he’ll be telling us that as an essential worker, phil can troddle in and out of kildare as he pleases.

  7. GiggidyGoo

    RTE reporting….
    “EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan has provided around 20 pages of documents to the President of the European Commission in the ongoing controversy over his trip to Ireland and the Clifden golf dinner, according to an EU official.
    The documents include guidelines from the Irish Hotels Federation and a map of Ireland showing individual counties.”

    Sure he probably threw in an old Cats Laughs guide too, or an old Argos catalogue showing where their stores are.

    Does he think that the IHF make the laws, or that their interpretation is a legal defense?

  8. d

    the higher they climb the bigger the fall.

    ive no sympathy for him. this is a great story, great distraction. my job will be lost soon enough too.

  9. :-Joe

    Haha.. good one Bodger…

    Great title / photo balance as usual…

    Caption Time?..

    “Arrgh!.. Get orf me fairway, yis peshky sh-citizens!..”



  10. fortycoats

    Hogan: “I subsequently was admitted to hospital for a medical intervention on 5 August where I tested negatively for Covid-19.”

    He is saying he was already admitted to hospital while still under the 14-day quarantine requirement and before his Covid test.

    That is quite a statement to make about a hospital’s Covid practices.

    1. hansel

      I think – reading between the lines – that the hospitals admit all, and treat them as potentially positive for Covid until proven otherwise.
      There’s a number of “awaiting results” at any point in time in the hospitals, and it’s not all down to Covid19 symptoms.

      Phil being admitted to hospital before his Covid19 result would be consistent with that.

      Just to add, the levels of “I’m a better class of human” going on at that Golf Society makes my blood boil.

    1. SOQ

      It is under investigation- after Black Lesbians Matter but before no mandatory masks/vaccines/test Custom House protest.

      These things take a long time to ponder and consider and a lot of money will be paid by the state- meaning us.

      1. Steph Pinker

        I’m very aware of the time it takes to ponder and consider [former Taoiseagh, ministers, TDs, senators, civil servants] wrongdoings for the taxpaying leeches within our so-called democracy; while I can believe it, I find it very difficult to understand how our elected representatives, non-elected representatives, judiciary, personal and political affiliations, members of the media, banking lobbyists, MEPs et al., can abuse their positions in such a cynical manner – and i’m not just referring to the pandemic we’re all in together *cough*; how and why do we, as the electorate, allow this to happen? Time and again it’s the same story over and over, but no one asks questions – with the exception of Ken Foxe, but even his investigative journalism is reliant on FOI *requests* after a certain period of time.

        There are so many levels of rot within our political system, it’s obvious that we have become accustomed to it but I can’t understand why, because there isn’t a single person I know who hasn’t been affected by FFG politics and policies through the past 20+ years, yet, look at where we are now? Who are these who vote FFG, and willingly propagate this political status quo? NPHET have been leading Varadkar and Martin by the nose like an old bull with a low count, and a broken ankle.

        Since the hotels and restaurants/ pubs with food have reopened I’ve have spent a lot of money out and about, but from now on we’ll just stay at home because it’s too expensive, it’s not enjoyable and the time limit being imposed is like a bad scene from a sci-fi movie – we’re not robots. We used to travel around Ireland every second weekend prior to Covid-19, but we’ve now decided we’ll stick with mainland Europe for our monthly breaks because it’s cheaper, there’s less paranoia and the weather is better, especially coming into the Winter months.

        Whether Irish people want to admit it or not, the rest of Europe is open for business and taking precautions accordingly, so what’s the point in in wasting time and money in a staycation in Ireland – unless one likes to play GOLF in the rain and storms with overpriced food, no social atmosphere and miserable staff? And, don’t even think about ordering room service because those days are gone – apparently, hot food doesn’t kill the virus (if it’s delivered to your room for two people), but cornflakes and OJ do, yet, a communal ballroom with many more guests (50+) are allowed indulge in breakfast together – who knew?

        From now on, we’re going to do a Big Phil and hop on a plane and spend our money elsewhere in Europe – after all, we’re all in this together, aren’t we?

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