Fianna Fáil TD Jim O’Callaghan will not be offered the position of Attorney General, thus ending speculation linking him with the post.
There has been persistent talk that incoming Taoiseach Micheál Martin may appoint Mr O’Callaghan, TD for Dublin Bay South and Senior Counsel – to the position which would allow him attend cabinet, but this has been ruled out.
“Jim will not be Attorney General,” one source said emphatically.
With Fianna Fáil expected to hold six seats at the Cabinet table, Mr Martin has extremely limited scope for including more than one minister from Dublin.
This is because along with himself he will include Dara Calleary his deputy leader and Michael McGrath his Cork South Central colleague in his ministerial make-up.
Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte is likely to be selected both because of her geographical location and gender, despite annoying many internally in recent days by suggesting internal critics of the programme for government need to “be slapped around the ankles”.
There is also likely to be one minister from Leinster with Barry Cowen and Thomas Byrne in contention.
This would mean just one slot for a Dublin minister with Mr O’Callaghan, and Fingal TD Darragh O’Brien in contention.
As the Irish Examiner reported today, Fianna Fáil appear to have secured the housing portfolio which could tip the balance in favour of Mr O’Brien, hence the suggestion of the Attorney General role for Mr O’Callaghan had been put forward.
However, this suggestion has now been ruled out completely by two sources familiar with the process.
Mr O’Callaghan was also said to be opposed to the idea of serving as Attorney General, reportedly telling people: “ I didn’t knock on 20,000 doors to be AG.”
Should the three parties approve the deal as expected later today, Mr Martin will be formally elected Taoiseach on Saturday with outgoing Taoiseach Leo Varadkar assuming the role of Tánaiste.
Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have committed to a principle of “parity of esteem” between them sharing an equal number of ministries and the position of Taoiseach being rotated in 2022.