Taoiseach appoints Charlie McConalogue as his third Minister for Agriculture

Taoiseach appoints Charlie McConalogue as his third Minister for Agriculture

The Donegal TD was previously Fianna Fáil's Agriculture Spokesperson. File picture: Colin Keegan

Charlie McConalogue has been named as the new Agriculture Minister.

The Donegal TD becomes the third Minister for Agriculture since the formation of the Government following the resignations of both Dara Calleary and Barry Cowen.

Wexford TD James Browne will succeed Deputy McConalogue as Minister of State for Law Reform at the Department of Justice.

Taoiseach Michéal Martin nominated the new Agriculture Minister in the Dáil this afternoon.

Deputy Martin said: "Dáil Eireann approves the nomination by the Taoiseach of Deputy Charlie McConalogue for appointment by the President to be a member of the Government.

"It is my intention to assign Deputy McConalogue to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

"Deputy McConalogue's knowledge of this area is both deep and broad, a proud native of both Donegal and the Inishowen Peninsula, he brings with him a perspective rooted in communities which have always been defined by their spirit and their determination to shape a more prosperous future."

Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald said the Taoiseach was now appointing his third Agriculture minister in as many months because of "deep dysfunction" in the current government.

"Chaos, confusion has consumed this coalition," she said.

Congratulating Mr McConalogue on his appointment, Labour Party leader Alan Kelly said he "nearly felt sorry" for the predicament the Taoiseach was left in following the golfgate scandal.

But Mr Kelly recognised the swift resignation of former Agriculture Minister Mr Calleary after it emerged that he had attended the golfing dinner in Co. Galway. 

He said he "wished others followed that example" and others who were at the event should have quickly acknowledged their mistakes.

Solidarity-PBP TD Mick Barry pointed out that Mr Martin's Government was just 67 days old adding: "To lose one Minister for Agriculture looks careless to lose two looks like a total and absolute omnishambles."

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