Hope mounts that Wicklow will have TD on front bench
WITH FINE GAEL scoring a historic win in Wicklow last week securing three seats in the Garden County for the first time ever, speculation is rife that at least one Wicklow TD will have a place on the front bench.
Being the more seasoned politician, Deputy Billy Timmins may seem the more likely candidate for any front bench position but his stance in the leadership heave in the summer of 2009 may have blotted his copybook.
During a recent visit to Wicklow, leader of Fine Gael Enda Kenny said the past was the past and no grudges were held in respect of the heave but today ( Wednesday) will be the proof of the pudding for all the deputies who spoke out in favour of Richard Bruton.
Speaking last week, Deputy Timmins said ministerial positions would be announced today, when the 31st Dail sat for the first time.
‘It is the perogative of the party leader to pick whom he sees fit and hopefully he will pick his best team. After Mayo, Wicklow had the best Fine Gael result in the county and I hope there is recognition of that.
‘We are officially back today but I have been in the Dáil since last week and I hope during the next five years to address many of the issues that have been raised.
‘Some of the goals I have for Wicklow are to increase tourism and agri food development, to revamp local authorities giving them more power and to try get jobs for Wicklow. I feel under the last Government there wasn't an urgency on state agencies like Enterprise Ireland and the IDA to secure jobs for Wicklow.'
Deputy Timmins also thanked everyone who had voted for him right across the county.
Poll topper Andrew Doyle may also be in line for a cabinet position because of his increased first preference vote and because of his perform- ance over the past ten months or so as Spokesperson for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries.
However, the Roundwood farmer is not buying into the hype and said while he would obviously love a front bench position, he is not taking anything for granted.
‘A lot of people have asked me if I was getting a position but the simple answer is I don't know. It's not something I can give an indication of because I don't know. I would love to have a place at the Cabinet table but I will have to wait and see until tomorrow ( Wednesday) when the cabinet is announced.'
While Agriculture may seem the most likely portfolio for Andrew to be given if he were chosen it is not a done deal that Agriculture may stay with Fine Gael because if coalition talks with Labour work out Labour will have to be given a number of key ministries.