Fine Gael TDs are attempting to appease Waterford’s John Deasy after the experienced Fine Gael TD was overlooked for promotion by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
The TD is “out for blood”, and “bristling with anger”, say party sources. His friend and party colleague TD John Paul Phelan was forced to intervene and visit the angry deputy on Tuesday in his Dublin residency, as Mr Varadkar also made wider attempts to settle the mood among disappointed backbenchers who missed out on a ministerial post.
Fine Gael sources now say Mr Deasy is “gung-ho” and has even gone as far as threatening not to support Mr Varadkar and the Government in any crucial votes in the Dáil. A number of colleagues confirmed this.
Mr Deasy, though, declined to return media calls.
Meanwhile, Cork’s Dara Murphy has claimed he was sacked as EU affairs minister as he had backed leadership rival Simon Coveney and was on the side of the former Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
“He [Mr Varadkar] told me quite clearly that his selection was based on those who supported him. That was the way he put it. I was actually surprised he said it so directly,” Mr Murphy told the Irish Examiner’s sister publication the Evening Echo.
“I also feel there was an anti-Cork element to his decision, because Cork gave such support for Simon Coveney. I feel it was a factor,” he said.
Dublin Fingal’s Alan Farrell was another who was disappointed: “One might have been considering [me], for geography reasons.”
Mr Farrell claimed that in last year’s general election he increased his vote by 40% — more than any other Fine Gael candidate — but he accepted there were deputies longer in the Dáil who were “well deserving”.
“I am disappointed. Nobody died, I’ll get on with it,” he said.
Parliamentary party chairman Martin Heydon, a Kildare South TD many felt would be promoted, was also magnanimous, but he expects his role may be enhanced, as pledged by Mr Varadkar.
“Of course I aspire to be a minister, but I’ve an important role as a chairman,” said Mr Heydon, who will shortly discuss beefing up his position with Mr Varadkar. This will include a pre-election pledge by the Taoiseach to allow the party chairman attend pre-Cabinet meetings with Fine Gael ministers.
“I believe he will do it,” said Mr Heydon.
Carlow-Kilkenny TD Pat Deering expressed his frustration during a phone call with Mr Varadkar on Tuesday night.
“I told him that I was being squeezed, politically, in the constituency,” he said.
A number of other TDs are also deeply disappointed at being overlooked, including first-time TDs Colm Brophy, Noel Rock, and Josepha Madigan. Each backed Mr Varadkar for the leadership.
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