Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary will give his first media interview later this morning on the dramatic weekend developments that saw him omitted from new Taoiseach Micheál Martin’s list of senior cabinet ministers.
The Ballina-based deputy is due to appear on Tommy Marren’s Show on Midwest Radio, which broadcasts from 9am to 11am. The interview will be keenly listened to across the region, but one suspects it will also be getting an airing in Government Buildings as Micheál Martin deals with the fallout from his controversial decision to exclude Calleary.
The Irish Independent is reporting this morning that Calleary was “forced” to accept the role of Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Dept of the Taoiseach. The newspaper says he was the last Fianna Fáil TD called to Government Buildings and Mr Martin had already allocated all his ministries. The deputy is said to have told colleagues he was furious about the appointment but was left with no option but to accept the position as Mr Martin had no other ministries to offer by the time he was called to the Taoiseach’s Office.
Ministers who were appointed on Saturday afternoon said the Fianna Fáil deputy leader was “visibly angry” when they gathered in Government Buildings before returning to the National Convention Centre to be voted into office.
Members of Fianna Fáil in Mayo are enraged at the decision, especially as they voted strongly to endorse the programme for government, which saw Fianna Fáil cross the Rubicon by entering a coalition with its old rival Fine Gael.
The new Cabinet, which is the first in the history of the State to have no senior minister from west of the Shannon, will hold its first meeting today.