There does not seem to be any advantage in having local politicians sitting at top-tables of governance — going by some recent events.
For instance, two Cork politicians who hold important ministeries were unable to prevent the closure of the Cork Mails Centre at Little Island (while two mail centres in the Midlands and one in Dublin were the preferred choice to remain open). Those politicians are Simon Coveney TD and Michael Creed TD.
Minister Coveney was in the Dáil trying to put a brave face on the closure, speaking about “redeployment and retraining oppertunies” for the workers affected, after the proverbial horse has bolted.
Minister Creed then surfaced to express his “disappointment at the Beef (element) of the trade deal agreed between the EU and South America” — which will have a serious impact on the incomes of Irish farmers, a deal which had the imprimatur of EU Agriculture Commissioner Phil Hogan.
I heard Mr Hogan being interviewed on RTÉ Radio on Saturday morning to laud the deal, which an IFA representive concluded was “just a Phil Hogan whitewash”.
Which brings me to question the benefit of having an Irishman (Phil Hogan) as an EU commissioner who fails to protect the interests of this country’s most important industry — Agriculture — from his high profile position at the EU’s top table.
This reader's opinion was originally published in the letters page of the Irish Examiner print edition on 2 July 2019.