Geog­ra­phy key to ju­nior min­is­ter ap­point­ments

Irish Examiner - - Front Page - Aoife Moore

The Gov­ern­ment is set to name its ju­nior min­is­ters to­day, with geog­ra­phy high on the cri­te­ria.

Keen to right the ‘wrongs’ from the week­end, when the three party lead­ers an­nounced a Cabi­net with no rep­re­sen­ta­tive from the west coast, it is widely ex­pected that some old faces and over­looked coun­ties will be back in the run­ning.

Tá­naiste Leo Varad­kar yes­ter­day ac­cepted that it is “very un­usual” for there to be no Cabi­net min­is­ters from west of the River Shan­non and said ju­nior min­istries will re­dress the bal­ance.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil will have seven ju­nior min­istries each, with the Green Party re­ceiv­ing three.

In Fianna Fáil, it is widely ex­pected that two of the TDs to be chosen for ju­nior min­istries are Anne Rab­bitte and Mary But­ler. It was noted that both would rep­re­sent a ge­o­graph­i­cal area lack­ing in rep­re­sen­ta­tion in se­nior roles, namely Gal­way and Water­ford.

Sources say Ms Rab­bitte was in­cred­i­bly dis­ap­pointed to be left out of Cabi­net last week af­ter putting in “se­ri­ous work” dur­ing gov­ern­ment for­ma­tion ne­go­ti­a­tions and had voiced as much to party col­leagues.

Ms But­ler is said to be “qui­etly hope­ful”, along with col­leagues Jack Cham­bers, Thomas Byrne, Niall Collins, Robert Troy, and Char­lie McCon­a­logue, who are all seen as favourites. A Fianna Fáil source said the TDs had “heard noth­ing” on Tues­day.

“There’s 11 or 12 that could be in the run­ning for the seven jobs go­ing,” the source said.

“We’ve the is­sue with the spread in the west for cabi­net, and in the south­east, there’s no one, that will need to be fac­tored in too, that’s in Water­ford, Tip­per­ary, Car­low, Kilkenny, and Wex­ford.

“Cabi­net is meet­ing at two and won’t meet again un­til next week, so ev­ery­body talk­ing about it among our­selves, but there’s been no for­mal in­di­ca­tions. It’s the same as Satur­day. Barry Cowen didn’t even know by half past three he was get­ting a min­istry, so to­mor­row won’t be any dif­fer­ent.

Micheál is play­ing it very close to his chest.”

Fine Gael is ex­pected to name party stal­warts Martin Hey­don and Peter Burke, to ju­nior roles with for­mer min­is­ters Josepha Madi­gan and Joe McHugh also ex­pected to get the nod, as are TDs Damien English and Colm Bro­phy. Mr Varad­kar is ex­pected to give ju­nior roles to Kerry’s Bren­dan Grif­fin and Dublin-Rath­down’s Josepha Madi­gan.

It has been spec­u­lated that, in an ef­fort to reunite the Greens af­ter in-fight­ing over whether to back the pro­gramme for gov­ern­ment, Mr Ryan will ap­point Fran­cis Noel Duffy or Neasa Hourigan in an ef­fort to reach out to those con­cerned about en­ter­ing gov­ern­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.