Phil Hogan

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For the English rugby league footballer, see Phil Hogan (rugby league).
Phil Hogan
Phil Hogan.jpg
European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
Assumed office
1 November 2014
Preceded by Dacian Cioloș
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government
In office
9 March 2011 – 11 July 2014
Preceded by Éamon Ó Cuív
Succeeded by Alan Kelly
Teachta Dála
In office
15 June 1989 – 31 October 2014
Constituency Carlow-Kilkenny
In office
April 1987 – 15 June 1989
Constituency Industrial and Commercial Panel
Personal details
Born (1960-07-04) 4 July 1960 (age 55)
Kilkenny, Ireland
Political party Fine Gael
Alma mater University College Cork

Phil Hogan (born 4 July 1960) is an Irish Fine Gael politician, and has been the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development since November 2014. He was a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Carlow–Kilkenny constituency from 1989 to 2014, and was the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government from March 2011 to July 2014.[1]

Early and private life[edit]

Philip Hogan was born in Kilkenny in 1960. He was educated locally in St. Joseph's College, Freshford, St. Kieran's College in Kilkenny, and University College Cork, where he qualified with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Higher Diploma in Education.[2] He is separated with one son, Edward. He set up Hogan Campion Auctioneers in Urlingford in the 1980s.

Local politics[edit]

Hogan first became involved in politics at a local level as a member of Kilkenny County Council from 1982 to 2003. He was Chairman of the council in 1985–1986 and 1989–1990. He was a member of the South-Eastern Health Board from 1991 to 1999.[2] He contested the 1987 general election but was unsuccessful.

National politics[edit]


After his failure to be elected to Dáil Éireann at the first attempt, Hogan was subsequently elected to Seanad Éireann by the Industrial and Commercial Panel, serving between 1987 and 1989. During this time he acted as Fine Gael spokesman on Justice and on Industry and Commerce in the upper house of the Oireachtas. Hogan was elected to the Dáil for the first time at the 1989 general election and retained his seat until resigning in 2014.[3] He held a number of Opposition Front Bench positions including spokesperson on the Food Industry (1989–1991), on Consumer Affairs (1991–1993) and on Regional Affairs and European Development (1993–1994).

Minister of State[edit]

Between December 1994 and February 1995 Hogan served as Minister of State at the Department of Finance with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works. He was forced to resign when a staff member sent out budget details to a journalist before it was announced. Following his resignation from this post Hogan became chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party, a position he held until 2001.

2002 leadership election[edit]

In the run-up to the 2002 general election, Hogan became Director of Organisation in Fine Gael. When Michael Noonan resigned as leader of Fine Gael after the party's disastrous results in that election, Hogan was a candidate in the subsequent leadership election.[4] He lost out to Enda Kenny but was appointed spokesperson for Enterprise, Trade and Employment. Hogan again served as Director of Organisation for the 2007 general election. [5]

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government[edit]

Following the 2011 general election Hogan was appointed Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.[6]

Taxes on property and water[edit]

In July 2011 Hogan outlined plans for a €100 annual “household charge” that would become operable from January 2012 for two years, ahead of the introduction in 2014 of a full property tax based on site valuations. 250,000 households, some 14%, would be exempt from paying the charge. Hogan accepted that the tax would cause hardship to some families but presented it as the minimum possible charge he could have applied, saying it would cost “a modest €2 per week”.[7]

Hogan also confirmed that a new State utility company, Irish Water, would be set up in the autumn to oversee the process of installing meters in all domestic dwellings. That would pave the way, he said, for domestic water charges in two years' time based on household usage. The new charges would be the first local taxes to be introduced for more than 30 years, since the then Fianna Fáil government led by Jack Lynch abolished domestic rates in 1977.[7]

The annual “household charge” proposal proved controversial for Hogan on many levels. His suggestion that councils would be rewarded if they “pull out all the stops to collect the charge” was criticised.[8][9] The Sunday Independent reported on Hogan's refusal to pay service charges on his penthouse apartment adjacent to the Victoria Golf Resort in Vilamoura, Portugal, due to a dispute with the apartment complex's management company. Hogan was quoted as asking "Would you pay a charge if you were unhappy with the service?"[10]

Golf outing remarks incident[edit]

On 24 August 2011, during the Oireachtas golf outing, ex-Taoiseach John Bruton's former administrator, Anne O'Connell, alleged that Hogan delivered a crude sexual insult in her direction. O'Connell, who owns a number of buy-to-let properties, said she "took the opportunity to say to him that I hoped he would not 'screw' property owners in promised legislation. She reported Hogan's reply as: "I have no problem screwing you. Hasn't Mairtin been screwing you for years".[11] The remark upset O'Connell, aged 70, so much that she felt unable to attend that night's golf dinner.[12] The remark also made her partner and other members of her family "very angry".[11] She immediately complained in writing to the Taoiseach Enda Kenny.[12] Hogan issued a letter of apology a few days later saying: "I unreservedly apologise for those remarks which were totally inappropriate in a personal sense. . . It was intended in a jocose and private basis and certainly not intended as insulting."[12]

Local government reform[edit]

In October 2012 Hogan announced plans for the reform of local government.[13] These included the abolition of all town councils, the merger of some county councils, and the introduction of "municipal districts". The reforms were enacted as the Local Government Reform Act 2014 and were planned to come into effect in 2014, to coincide with the next scheduled local elections.[14][15][16]

Relationship with press secretary[edit]

While on a government-funded trip to Doha in December 2012, Hogan was photographed with his arm around his press secretary, Yvonne Hyland.[17] He later branded the Sunday Independent and another newspaper as "knackers" and threatened to "put manners" on them for publishing the pictures.[18] It was later revealed that on the evening of Friday 7 December 2012, Denis O'Brien's friend and solicitor Paul Meagher contacted the Sunday Independent with orders from O'Brien to 'kill' the story.[19]

European Commissioner[edit]

On 10 September 2014 Hogan was nominated as the European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development,[20][21] taking office on 1 November.


  1. ^ "Mr. Phil Hogan". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Nealon's Guide to the 30th Dáil and 23rd Seanad, Ed. Stephen Collins, Dublin, 2007.
  3. ^ "Phil Hogan". Retrieved 19 September 2009. 
  4. ^ "The line of leaders since FitzGerald". The Irish Times. 14 June 2010. 
  5. ^ "Profile: Phil Hogan". RTÉ News. 10 September 2014. 
  6. ^ "Enda Kenny reveals new Cabinet". RTÉ News. 9 March 2011. 
  7. ^ a b McGee, Harry (27 July 2011). "Minister defends new €100 charge ahead of full property tax". The Irish Times. Retrieved 27 July 2011. 
  8. ^ Telford, Lyndsey (2 April 2012). "Government threats over non-payment of household charge ‘outrageous’". Irish Independent. Retrieved 2 April 2012. 
  9. ^ "Hogan urges authorities to 'pull out all the stops' in collecting charge". BreakingNews. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  10. ^ Corcoran, Jody (1 April 2012). "Phil Hogan refuses to pay €4k service charges on his Portugal holiday penthouse: 'Would you pay a charge if you were unhappy with service?' asks Minister". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  11. ^ a b Kealy, Willie (18 March 2012). "Minister apologises for crude sexual insult". Sunday Independent. 
  12. ^ a b c Kealy, Willie (18 March 2012). "Phil Hogan sorry for lewd remark". Sunday Independent. 
  13. ^ "The most radical reform of local government in over 100 years" (Press release). Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government. 17 October 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2013. 
  14. ^ Telford, Lynsey (16 October 2012). "'Long overdue' reform of local Government to save €420m". Irish Independent. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  15. ^ "Phil Hogan says local government reform will save €420m". RTÉ News. 16 October 2012. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  16. ^ Carroll, Steven (16 October 2012). "Local authority plan 'to save €420m'". The Irish Times. Retrieved 16 October 2012. 
  17. ^ "Doh’a". Broadsheet. 5 December 2012. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  18. ^ McConnell, Daniel (3 March 2013). "You knackers! We'll put manners on you - Phil Hogan's threat to our journalists". Sunday Independent. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  19. ^ Tighe, Mark (28 June 2015). "INM was asked to 'kill' Phil coverage". The Sunday Times. 
  20. ^ "Hogan confirmed as EU Agriculture Commissioner". RTÉ News. 10 September 2014. 
  21. ^ "Phil Hogan: I'm honoured to be selected as Europe's new Commissioner". Irish Independent. 3 October 2014. Retrieved 3 October 2014. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Martin Gibbons
Progressive Democrats
Fine Gael Teachta Dála for Carlow–Kilkenny
Political offices
Preceded by
Noel Dempsey
Minister of State for the Office of Public Works
Succeeded by
Jim Higgins
Preceded by
Éamon Ó Cuív
as Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government
Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government
Succeeded by
Alan Kelly
Preceded by
Máire Geoghegan-Quinn
Irish European Commissioner
Preceded by
Dacian Cioloș
European Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development
Party political offices
Preceded by
Jim Higgins
Chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party
Succeeded by
Pádraic McCormack