Dara Calleary vows to turn setback into action for the west
Mayo TD Dara Calleary has vowed to turn the disappointment of missing out on a senior ministerial position in the new government into action on behalf of his constituency and the west of Ireland.
The 47-year-old Ballina TD admitted having 'a difficult conversation' with his Fianna Fáil party leader, Taoiseach Micheál Martin, when he was informed that he was appointed to the role of government chief whip ahead of being a senior minister.
He told Mid West Radio: “I am very disappointed and I sincerely thank everybody who contacted me over the weekend to show their support.
“I expected to lead a government department and I am determined to do so in the future.
“But I am determined now to embrace the task I have been handed. I will be a strong, loud and constructive voice at the cabinet table.
“I will be in the ears of all ministers to ensure Mayo and the west is not overlooked.
“Much has been made of the fact that I won't have a vote at cabinet level.
“But there is rarely a vote at cabinet. In fact, it is the job of chief whip to avoid that happening.
“It is my intention to turn the anger of the people of the region into action for the region, to ensure delivery in terms of jobs and investment.
“This setback will drive me on. I am going to dust myself down and make the best of the situation. I will reward the faith placed in me over the coming years.”
Deputy Calleary was asked to comment on a statement by Matt Farrell, chairman of the Ballina FF Comhairle Ceanntair, that 'An Taoiseach is not welcome in Ballina due to the manner in which he treated Dara Calleary'.
In response, Depeuty Calleary stated: “I understand the extent of the anger but An Taoiseach will always be welcome to the west.
"He will always be welcome when it comes to the delivery of projects and jobs.”