Tuesday 25 April 2017

Martin unveils Fianna Fail frontbench roles

Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin pledged a constructive and robust opposition as he unveiled a frontbench role for each of the party's 20 TDs.

Mr Martin said his team balanced experience with fresh perspectives and he accused the government of spin and optics since taking office.

He defended appointing Brian Lenihan to the finance brief, claiming it was important to have someone with an insight into the financial crisis.

"I think in my view it's important that somebody who is aware of all that went on over the last two years has important insights to offer and perspectives to offer on the current situation," Mr Martin said.

Mr Martin took a swipe at the Fine Gael-Labour government saying a lot of the promises made during the election campaign had not come true, such as ensuring major European bank lenders take a hit on losses.

He accused the government parties of acting as if they were still campaigning for the election and he said they needed to get down to the work of governing.

"There is spinning all over. And it's a good line for the first six months, everything is someone else's fault," he said.

"They were well aware during the election campaign, they were well aware for a year or two years in advance in terms of the severity of the economic crisis and the banking crisis not just here but globally.

"And I think they over did it over the last two years, and they overdid it in terms of their cynicism and in terms of their electioneering and I think now they have a lot of hostages to fortune."

The new frontbench spokespeople include:

Micheal Martin - Party leader and spokesman on Northern Ireland.

Brian Lenihan - Finance

Sean O Fearghail - Fianna Fail whip and Foreign Affairs spokesman.

Michael McGrath - Public expenditure and Financial reform

Sean Fleming - Public sector reform

Brendan Smith - Education and skills

Willie O'Dea - Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation

Niall Collins - Environment, Community and Local Government

Barry Cowen - Social Protection

Charlie McConalogue - Children

Dara Calleary - Justice, Equality and Defence

Billy Kelleher - Health

Timmy Dooley - Transport, Tourism and Sport

Eamon O'Cuiv - Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Michael Moynihan - Agriculture and Food

Robert Troy - Arts and Heritage

John Browne - Marine and Fisheries

Seamus Kirk - Horticulture and Rural Affairs

Micheal Kitt - Housing, Planning and Gaeltacht Affairs.

John McGuinness - Small Business Regulatory Framework and Fianna Fail nominee for chairman of the Dail Public Accounts Committee.

Dublin South-East councillor Jim O'Callaghan will be the party's legal adviser.

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