The joint statement from the leaders of the three coalition parties significantly escalates the pressure on President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, over the position of her trade commissioner, who currently holds one of the most powerful jobs in Brussels.

Having made calls over the past three days for Phil Hogan to give a clearer account of his movements around Ireland between when he flew in from Brussels and attended a golf society dinner in Clifden last Wednesday, they were clearly not impressed with what they heard in the interview with RTÉ's Europe Editor Tony Connolly on Six One News.

They said concerns remained and effectively rejected his central claim that he complied with the Covid-19 rules.

The leaders said it was "clear that breaches were made" by Commissioner Hogan since he travelled to Ireland, and that "the Government guidelines clearly required him to restrict his movements for 14 days on arriving here".

This was a point on which Mr Hogan appeared to cause most anger during that interview.

When the HSE rules - meaning anyone has to restrict movements after arriving from a non-Green List country, regardless of whether they have taken a Covid-19 test or not - were put to him he said he did not accept that.

This led to some in Government questioning how could a commissioner not accept a country’s officials rules. And if he does not, then can the President of the European Commission stand over such a scenario?

The statement said people are "correctly angered" by his actions and that his "delayed and hesitant release of information has undermined public confidence".

But ultimately they say he is accountable to Ms Von der Leyen under the legal framework outlined in EU treaties.

The Government has put this issue firmly in her court and now awaits the outcome of the review being undertaken by her.

If Mr Hogan stays in the position it will result in a stand-off between a member state's government and the EU Commission over the position of one of its members.

It will also lead to a political difficulty for the party leaders here. Having brought the issue to this point, there will be significant unrest in their respective parties if he stays in place.

TDs already believe that a line has to be drawn under this if the Government is to be able to address the significant challenges that lie ahead.

Ultimately it is a decision that rests elsewhere. Despite a call from Labour Party leader Alan Kelly for the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste to directly tell Ms von der Leyen that they do not have confidence in the commissioner, neither at this point seem willing to do this.

There is another political route that could be taken, whereby pressure could be applied through Fine Gael’s membership of the European People’s Party (EPP) of which Ms von der Leyen is also a member.

As things stand, officially at least, their hands seem to be tied.

But a senior Government source told RTÉ News that "he has to go".

Otherwise, they said, "the credibility of the entire Commission" in relation to Covid-19 will be seriously diminished.