Was this resignation inevitable? I don't think it was ever inevitable.

Remember, there’s a clear differentiation between Phil Hogan as a European Commissioner and a Government minister like Dara Calleary and the other political figures who were sanctioned, stepped down or lost the party whip.

Phil Hogan is not accountable to the Dáil. He’s not accountable to the Irish Government and people would say that he has a reputation in the past for sticking it out, for brazening it out and for being a staunch defender of his own position.

That seemed to be the posture he was striking when this scandal broke last week and it was clearly difficult for the Government to get him to come forward with a much more complete explanation of his actions and a more heartfelt apology.

Now obviously a heartfelt apology came on Sunday but there was still growing pressure on Phil Hogan.

If he had decided to stick it out and to fight his corner, it would have placed the Irish Government in an extremely difficult position vis-a-vis the European Commission because Ursula von der Leyen would have had to make a decision as to whether or not she would have to ask Phil Hogan to resign and that would have been an effectively unprecedented situation for the commission.

There’s only one precedent in fact, a Maltese commissioner who was asked to resign some years ago.

However it would have been a very difficult standoff between the Irish Government and the European Commission and clearly Phil Hogan has taken the decision that he had to step down himself before the Commission President had to ask him to do so.

Having said that, he is insisting tonight that he broke no laws, broke no regulations, and even today in a webinar he said he was still looking forward to working as EU Commissioner with the US on trade issues.

But there you have it, tonight he has taken a very big decision and that in some way takes a lot of the pressure off Ursula von der Leyen.

The question now is who will replace him and will Ireland keep that portfolio?