Dara Calleary appointed deputy leader of Fianna Fáil in frontbench reshuffle

Dara Calleary appointed deputy leader of Fianna Fáil in frontbench reshuffle
Dara Calleary has been appointed Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil.

Update 1.35pm: Micheál Martin has announced a reshuffle of the Fianna Fáil frontbench including appointing Dara Calleary as deputy leader.

The changes come after a number of bruising polls, including the most recent drop of 5% at the weekend.

The new Fianna Fáil spokespeople are:

  • Dara Calleary TD has been appointed Deputy Leader and Director of Policy Development.
  • Barry Cowen TD has been appointed Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform.
  • Darragh O’Brien TD has been appointed Spokesperson on Housing, Planning and Local Government.
  • Niall Collins TD has been appointed Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • Billy Kelleher TD has been appointed Spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
  • Stephen Donnelly TD has been appointed Spokesperson on Health.
  • Lisa Chambers TD has been appointed Spokesperson on Brexit.
  • Jack Chambers TD will join the Front Bench in the role of Spokesperson on Defence.

One Fianna Fáil member said a reshuffle had been long overdue.

“That time may have been a month-and-a-half ago."

He now was the "natural time" to make changes as waiting until the summer would be seen to be leaving it too late.

Another Fianna Fáil TD said very few of the 20 newly elected TDs were made spokespeople and the party front bench needed a "fresh" face.

Speaking after making the changes this afternoon, Mr Martin said: “Fianna Fáil’s core aim in this Dáil is to make full use of the democratic mandate we have, to hold the Government to account and ensure that fairness is at the centre of the decision making process.

“Through the Confidence and Supply Agreement we have secured a focus on investment in public services and we continue to drive forward the argument for action on the country’s housing and health crises. We will also continue to develop new policies and strategies to deal with the country’s problems, refreshing and renewing our plan to ensure an Ireland for all,” said Mr Martin.

Earlier: Micheal Martin to unveil reshuffle of Fianna Fáil front bench later today

By Juno McEnroe

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin is to unveil a reshuffle of his front bench later today.

The move comes after party TDs and senators had mixed opinions on the upcoming abortion referendum during recent votes in the Seanad and Dail.

Mr Martin is currently meeting TDs and outlining new roles in Leinster House.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal martin.
Fianna Fáil leader Micheal martin.

It is expected that he will leave a number of TDs in their current positions, with speculation that there may be minimal changes.

A number of Fianna Fail frontbench TDs were seen nervously walking outside the chamber earlier today.

Mr Martin's comes after a 5% drop in a recent opinion poll after ongoing divisions in the party on the Eighth Amendment.

The reshuffle could be Mr Martin's last role of the dice with many observers in Leinster House anticipating there could be a snap general election later this year.

A statement from Fianna Fail is expected in the coming hours with a list of the new positions and changes.

The last party front bench reshuffle was May two years ago, following the general election then.

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