Mayo best-represented at Cabinet over years, Senator finds

Malcolm Byrne scrutinised line-up of every Cabinet since 1922 in terms of constituencies

 Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne:  “Ministerial appointments should be on the basis of ability regardless of where a person represents.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne: “Ministerial appointments should be on the basis of ability regardless of where a person represents.” Photograph: Dara Mac Donaill

 

Mayo has been the best-represented county at Cabinet, excluding Dublin and Cork, since independence, an analysis by a Fianna Fáil Senator has concluded.

Malcolm Byrne examined the line-up of every Cabinet since 1922 and the constituencies represented by the 200 TDs included in them. Apart from Dublin (with 69) and Cork (17), Mayo topped the league table of Cabinet representation with 12 senior ministers. Per head of population, Byrne says, Mayo has been the best represented county at the Cabinet table.

His analysis also found that the western counties of Limerick (with nine ministers), Galway (seven) and Clare (seven) make up the top six in the league table of Cabinet representation by county.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin was fiercely criticised last week for omitting Mayo TD and Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary from Cabinet, though Mr Calleary was appointed to the role of government chief whip.

Western region

There was also criticism from the wider western region about the lack of a Cabinet member from the area, with one local newspaper calling it “a cabinet fit for Cromwell”.

Mr Byrne said, “Ministerial appointments should be on the basis of ability regardless of where a person represents.”

“A county team or a national squad is not selected on the basis of every club being represented. I can understand personal disappointment but the focus for all in politics now though must be on building economic and societal recovery.”

The county figures for Cabinet Ministers are: Dublin 69, Cork 17, Mayo 12, Limerick nine, Clare seven, Galway seven, Donegal six, Kerry six, Meath six, Tipperary six, Wicklow six, Kildare five, Kilkenny five, Laois five, Monaghan five, Louth four, Roscommon four, Waterford four, Westmeath four, Wexford four, Cavan three, Longford two, Offaly two, Carlow one, Sligo one, Leitrim none.