Full line up of junior ministers unveiled as Taoiseach accused by one TD of snub

Jack Chambers and Niall Collins appointed Ministers of State as Jim O’Callaghan and Joe McHugh turn down roles

Josepha Madigan has been appointed a Minister of State. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Josepha Madigan has been appointed a Minister of State. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

A Fianna Fáil TD has accused Taoiseach Micheál Martin of insulting him and his community by passing him over for a junior ministerial post.

Cork North West Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan said he “worked extremely hard over nine years to rebuild (the) party, took a lot of stick in terms of picking candidates” but got “no thanks”.
Cork North-West Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan

Cork North West Fianna Fáil TD Michael Moynihan’s comments came as 17 junior ministers were appointed on Wednesday.

The final Fianna Fáil junior ministerial line up is: Anne Rabbitte (Galway East), Niall Collins (Limerick), Robert Troy (Longford–Westmeath), Mary Butler (Waterford), Jack Chambers (Dublin-West), Charlie McConalogue (Donegal North-East), and Thomas Byrne (Meath East).

Dara Calleary, the Government Chief Whip, is a super junior minister who sits at Cabinet.

Mr Calleary, a TD for Mayo, has also been given responsibility for sport and the Gaeltacht, following an outcry over his being passed over for a senior ministerial role at the weekend.

He said on Monday he was angry and disappointed at not being selected for a senior role in Cabinet.

“We had a very difficult conversation. I told him I was disappointed,” he said of his conversation with the Taoiseach.

There was also controversy over the lack of a senior minister from the west and the new line up of ministers announced on Wednesday night attempts to address that criticism about regional imbalance.

The Fine Gael junior ministers are Colm Brophy (Dublin South-West), Josepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown), Peter Burke (Longford–Westmeath), Frank Feighan (Sligo–Leitrim), Martin Heydon (Kildare South), Damien English (Meath West) and Patrick O’Donovan (Limerick).

Hildegard Naughton (Galway West) is Fine Gael’s super junior minister at the Cabinet table.

The Greens’ junior ministers are Joe O’Brien (Dublin Fingal), Ossian Smyth (Dún Laoghaire) and Malcolm Noonan (Carlow-Kilkenny). Senator Pippa Hackett is the party’s super junior at the Cabinet table.

Mr Moynihan, who was the Fianna Fail party’s chief whip, said Mr Martin had “insulted me and my community” by not appointing him a junior minister.

He said he is “very, very disappointed with being let down”. He said Fianna Fáil held two out of three seats in his constituency.

Mr Moynihan said he “worked extremely hard over nine years to rebuild (the) party, took a lot of stick in terms of picking candidates” but got “no thanks”.

“He has insulted me and my community,” Mr Moynihan said.

“Very, very disappointed with him.”

Turned down

Earlier Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan turned down an offer of a junior ministerial post.

Jim O Callaghan said he believed his energy and abilities will be better used as a backbench Fianna Fáil TD rather than as a junior member of government. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
Jim O Callaghan said he believed his energy and abilities will be better used as a backbench Fianna Fáil TD rather than as a junior member of Government. File photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times

Mr O’Callaghan told The Irish Times he was offered a junior position in the Department of Justice, with responsibility for law reform.

“I was asked this afternoon by an Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD, to accept an appointment as minister of state in the government. Having thought carefully about this offer I have decided not to accept,” he said.

“The reason I am not accepting is because I believe my energy and abilities will be better used as a backbench Fianna Fáil TD rather than as a junior member of government.

“At a time when many of our party’s senior members will be preoccupied with their ministerial duties, I want to devote more time to strengthening our great party by making it a more attractive option for young voters. I also believe Fianna Fáil needs strong voices outside government who can ensure that our party’s identity can be protected during the term of this coalition government.

“I wish Micheál and his government every success in the years ahead.”

The outgoing Fine Gael Minister for Education Joe McHugh is understood to have also turned down a junior ministerial post.

Joe McHugh, the outgoing Minister for Education, has also turned down a junior ministerial post. FIle photograph by Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times
Joe McHugh, the outgoing Minister for Education, has also turned down a junior ministerial post. FIle photograph by Crispin Rodwell/The Irish Times

‘Votegate’

Mr Chambers has been appointed Minister of State at the Department of Finance with responsibility for financial institutions.

Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers has been appointed a junior minister. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times
Fianna Fáil TD Jack Chambers has been appointed a junior minister. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Mr Collins has been appointed Minister of State at the Department of Education. When the “votegate” scandal erupted in the Dáil last year he lost his portfolio as the party’s spokesman on jobs, enterprise and innovation.

The Government appointed 17 junior ministers on Wednesday. The two so-called super juniors who sit at Cabinet as well as the Government chief whip were named on Saturday along with all the senior ministers.

The Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green party leaders did not co-ordinate their appointments for the senior ministries resulting in the controversy over the absence of a minister in the West.

The new Ministers of State at a glance:

Dara Calleary, already appointed to the Department of the Taoiseach as Government Chief Whip, has been assigned additional responsibilities to also be a Minister of State at the Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht and the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport. Following the formal reconfiguration of departments, he will be assigned to the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

Thomas Byrne - Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (EU Affairs)

Patrick O’Donovan - Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (OPW)

Ossian Smyth - Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Public Procurement and eGovernment)

Jack Chambers - Department of Finance (Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance)

Josepha Madigan - Department of Education and Skills (Special Education and Inclusion)

Martin Heydon - Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Research & Development/ Farm Safety/ New Market Development)

Anne Rabbitte - Department of Health and the Department of Justice and Equality (Disability). Following the formal reconfiguration of departments, she will be assigned to the Department of Children, Disability, Equality and Integration

Colm Brophy - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora)

Charlie McConalogue - Department of Justice and Equality (Law Reform)

Joe O’Brien - Department of Rural and Community Development (Community Development and Charities)

Peter Burke - Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Local Government and Planning)

Malcolm Noonan - Department of Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht (Heritage); and the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Electoral Reform). Following the formal reconfiguration of departments, he will be assigned to the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

Robert Troy - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Trade Promotion). Following the formal reconfiguration of departments, he will be assigned to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Damien English - Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Employment Affairs); and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (Retail Businesses). Following the formal reconfiguration of departments, he will be assigned to the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Mary Butler - Department of Health (Mental Health and Older People)

Frank Feighan - Department of Health (Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy)

Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins. File photograph: Alan Betson
Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins. File photograph: Alan Betson

Niall Collins - Department of Education and Skills (Skills and Further Education). Following the formal reconfiguration of departments, he will be assigned to the Department of Higher Education, Innovation and Science

The Government previously appointed Senator Pippa Hackett to be Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and Hildegarde Naughton to be Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.