Ó Cuív to return to Fianna Fáil front bench
FIANNA FÁIL rebel Eamon Ó Cuív will return to the party’s front bench to take up the position of agriculture spokesman following a reshuffle of personnel by party leader Micheál Martin.
Mr Ó Cuív became the party’s only backbencher when he was effectively sacked as deputy leader and spokesman on communications after openly defying Mr Martin’s support for the fiscal treaty referendum.
Mr Martin yesterday announced 10 changes to his 19-man front bench, while ensuring that each of the party’s TDs has an area of responsibility.
Commenting on his new role as Fianna Fáil spokesman on agriculture, food and community affairs, Mr Ó Cuív said: “I’ll have to swat up on my agriculture, being a pure-bred Dub. I’ll take on any challenge.”
Limerick TD Niall Collins will become justice and equality spokesman, having previously served as environment spokesman, while former justice spokesman Dara Calleary of Mayo will take on responsibility for enterprise, jobs and innovation.
Limerick city TD Willie O’Dea, formerly holder of Mr Calleary’s new position, will become spokesman on social protection, while Barry Cowen of Laois-Offaly will move from social protection to environment and local government.
Donegal’s Charlie McConalogue, formerly spokesman on children, will replace Brendan Smith of Cavan-Monaghan as education spokesman and Mr Smith will cover foreign affairs and trade as well as Border region development.
Robert Troy of LongfordWestmeath, previously spokesman on the arts, will take on Mr McConalogue’s old position, with responsibility for arts, constitutional reform and defence going to party whip Seán Ó Fearghaíl.
Michael Moynihan of Cork North-West will take over Mr Ó Cuív’s old position of communications, energy and natural resources.