Ireland's national interest was "damaged" when the former EU Trade Commissioner Phil Hogan was called on to resign, Jim O'Callaghan has said.
The Fianna Fáil TD agreed that Ireland shot itself in the foot by seeking Mr Hogan's removal from the position in the wake of last month's 'Golfgate' controversy.
Speaking on The Pat Kenny Show, Deputy O'Callaghan said "in politics, you need to be able to see 24 hours, 48 hours down the road".
He said: "I think when we called upon him to consider his position the necessary consequence of that was that we were telling the Commission we didn't have confidence in him.
"I don't know Phil Hogan, I don't speak for him but I do think it was not in the country's national interest to lose the trade portfolio in the EU.
Deputy O'Callaghan said the portfolio was "a huge job" ahead of Brexit next January, with other EU countries having differing perspectives on trade than Ireland.
He said: "They have a protectionist attitude, we want an open trade environment, that's what Phil Hogan and an Irish person was bringing to the portfolio.
"I think by losing it, we've damaged the country's national interest."
The government has yet to put forward the names of a woman and a man who have been chosen as candidates to replace Mr Hogan in the EU Commission.
MEPs Mairead McGuinness and Frances Fitzgerald are both in the running and it has been suggested that Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney may not put his name forward if it's believed he won't get the trade portfolio.
On who he would like to see as the next EU Commissioner, Deputy O'Callaghan said he "doesn't view it on who the person is".
He said: "It looks like the country is no longer going to hold the trade portfolio and trade is hugely important to this country
"It's an EU competency, we don't have control over EU trade policy. It was a huge advantage having an Irish person in that portfolio.
"If we could get that portfolio I would take any person that would get it, but it doesn't look like we're going to get it."
He added: "The names that have been mentioned, they sound like competent people to me, so I would be happy with any choice the government puts forward of the people who have been mentioned."
Deputy O'Callaghan said the Government has done well on the "big issue" so far, particularly the reopening of schools and the July Stimulus Package
However, he added: "It's unquestionably the case that there have been controversies along the way and we need to ensure there are no more such controversies."