Seven first-time TDs in new Fianna Fáil front bench

Seven first-time TDs in new Fianna Fáil front bench

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin has overhauled the party’s front bench and promoted seven first-time TDs to his new shadow Cabinet, writes Juno McEnroe.

The party leader said that the decision on who would be spokespeople for different areas had been “difficult” as he unveiled Fianna Fáil’s shadow ministers for the new Dáil term.

A number of strong-performing TDs were left in their positions but, in the main, Mr Martin moved many deputies sideways into new roles, while also bringing new ones up the ranks.

There were also a number of notable names absent from the list of the new front bench, with many speculating that Carlow-Kilkenny's John McGuinness and Sean Fleming had lost out and been demoted.

Michael McGrath, Barry Cowen and Willie O’Dea and Billy Kelleher were all left as the party’s spokespeople on Finance, Housing, Social Protection and Health respectively.

Elsewhere, Dara Calleary was moved across from Jobs to Public Expenditure, Charlie McConalogue transfers from Education to Agriculture while Eamon O’Cuiv goes from the latter brief to the new Regional Development spokesperson position.

Robert Troy also goes from the area of Children to Transport while Timmy Dooley leaves the latter role for Communications.

A number of first time TDs were given spokesperson roles including Mayo's Lisa Chambers, Cork's Margaret Murphy O'Mahoney and Cavan-Monaghan's Niamh Smith.

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