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Mayo TD Dara Calleary set to replace ousted Fianna Fáil minister Robert Troy

Mr Calleary was forced to quit Cabinet amid controversy about the golf and social outing – known as Golfgate – in Clifden, Co Galway, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Dara Calleary. Photo: Gareth Chaney© Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

John DowningIndependent.ie

Former minister Dara Calleary is tipped to make a comeback to the Government team tomorrow as Taoiseach Micheál Martin picks a replacement for Robert Troy.

A week after Mr Troy was forced to quit as junior enterprise minister, Mr Martin is expected to bring the name of his replacement before Cabinet for necessary approval.

In reality, the choice is entirely up to the Taoiseach to pick from the Fianna Fáil ranks. Other names have been cited, including Kildare North TD James Lawless, and Cavan-Monaghan deputy Niamh Smyth.

But Leinster House sources expect Mr Calleary, a TD for Mayo since 2007, to begin his comeback to the Government ranks. There was controversy when he did not make the senior ranks when the coalition Cabinet was announced in June 2020.

He was appointed junior Gaeltacht and sports minister and also Government chief whip. Weeks later, he was appointed to replace then agriculture minister Barry Cowen, who lost his job in controversial circumstances.

Then, little more than a month later, Mr Calleary was forced to quit Cabinet amid controversy about the golf and social outing – known as Golfgate – in Clifden, Co Galway, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Since then, the Mayo TD has kept a distinctly low profile, while, in contrast, Mr Cowen has emerged at times to criticise the Fianna Fáil party’s lack of direction while in Government.

The Taoiseach has kept his plans under customary wraps up to this point.

Some of the other names being cited are rated as ambitious and able, and Mr Martin is also looking to a larger reshuffle in December when the unprecedented switch of jobs between himself and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar takes place.

The Robert Troy controversy has stoked anger among some Fianna Fáil TDs and senators, who fear the Taoiseach was slow and indecisive, and added to the party’s reputational damage.

But with the restart of the Dáil term, the focus will turn to Budget preparations and other economic issues.

There is unrest among some party members but few believe this will amount to a heave against Mr Martin.


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