Limerick people ‘grossly insulted ’ by Micheál Martin appointments, says Willie O’Dea

Former minister latest party figure to attack its leader after jobs carve-up

Willie O’Dea at the Leinster House plinth. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Willie O’Dea at the Leinster House plinth. File photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

Fianna Fáil Limerick City TD Willie O’Dea is the latest party figure to attack Taoiseach Micheál Martin over his junior ministerial appointments.

Mr O’Dea, the former minister for defence, said he is “bitterly disappointed for the people of Limerick that the third city of the Republic and economic driver of the mid-west has been completely overlooked for either senior or junior ministerial appointments.

“I have been inundated with messages from people who feel let down and grossly insulted. “There are three government TDs out of four in Limerick City, yet Micheál Martin has felt it appropriate to insult all the people of Limerick City with this decision.

“It’s strange if he thinks that we can deliver three out of four after this!” he added, in reference to his Limerick City constituency having one TD for Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens.

The leaders of Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael on Wednesday sought to rectify the regional imbalance of their ministerial appointments with a series of new junior ministers drawn from the western seaboard.

Mr Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar were criticised in recent days after the Fianna Fáil-Fine Gael-Green Party coalition Cabinet contained no senior ministers from the west.

Mr Martin, however, provoked anger among some with his selections, with Cork North West TD and Fianna Fáil whip Michael Moynihan accusing his leader of insulting him personally and of insulting his community by failing to give him a junior ministerial post.