Vocal Shatter critic viewed as future FF leader
NIALL Collins is one of Fianna Fail's most prominent TDs and is regularly mentioned as a future party leader.
The Limerick TD was among Alan Shatter's most vocal critics before he resigned as Justice Minister on the back on the garda controversies.
He was a thorn in Mr Shatter's side for many months, consistently claiming that the Fine Gael politician had disgraced his office.
Mr Collins (below) is a close ally of Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin and is regularly sent out to bat for the party through media appearances.
The 41-year-old is respected as a robust debater who has a strong grasp of his justice portfolio.
A qualified accountant, Mr Collins was first elected to the Dail in 2007 in the Limerick West constituency.
Despite Fianna Fail's collapse in the 2011 general election, Mr Collins claimed over 20pc of the vote, securing the third and final seat.
He previously served as Fianna Fail's Environment spokesman before being moved to the justice portfolio.
Former Taoiseach Brian Cowen appointed Mr Collins as honorary treasurer of the party, a role he continues to fill.
Mr Collins comes from a well-known political family. His grandfather James 'Jimmy' Collins and uncle Gerard Collins both served in the Dail and have almost 50 years of political experience between them.
Another uncle, Michael J Collins, served as a TD from 1997-2007.