Candidates for promotion . . .
Published 22/03/2010 | 05:00
The Junior Minister for Forestry, Fisheries and the Marine (pictured top) is seen in the party as a competent performer and a loyal servant. However, he did vote against the Government in 1993 to mark his opposition to the ending of the Shannon Airport stop-over for transatlantic flights and resigned temporarily from the parliamentary party. But his greatest advantage is that he is located in the mid-west, which has been left without a senior minister following the resignation of Willie O'Dea.
The former teacher (pictured bottom) is another loyal defender of Fianna Fail and a good media performer.
But as chief whip he plays a vital role in keeping the Government in power (there have been some tight scrapes recently) by winning Dail votes and this may work against his chances of promotion.
Mr Lenihan, who visited Vietnam for the St Patrick's Day, is not afraid to go out to bat for the Government. He earned the support of immigrant groups during his time as Integration Minister and is now Junior Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation.
The Junior Minister for Drugs Strategy got alcohol included in the national drugs strategy (not as easy as it sounds, given the lobbying power of the drinks industry). And he has a powerful ally in cabinet in the form of Education Minister Batt O'Keeffe. If Government Chief Whip Pat Carey were to be promoted to a senior ministry, he would be the favourite to take over from him.
As Junior Minister for Overseas Development, Mr Power has been visiting projects tackling HIV/AIDs in South Africa and Lesotho for St Patrick's Day. He is seen as capable and would give Limerick city a voice again at the Cabinet table if promoted. But some Fianna Fail TDs doubt he will get the job because it could increase the sense of hurt felt by Willie O'Dea.
He was made Junior Minister for Labour Affairs after being elected to the Dail for the first time in 2007. That has put him ahead of fellow Fianna Fail Mayo TD Beverley Flynn, who said she had been promised a junior ministry by former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern. He has been mentioned as a possible contender for the Department of Economic Planning and Enterprise.