Saturday 10 December 2016

Backbench demands for a radical reshuffle could sound the death knell for loyal Reilly

Published 04/06/2014 | 02:30

Health Minister James Reilly may be set for a shuffle. Photo: Mark Condren
Health Minister James Reilly may be set for a shuffle. Photo: Mark Condren

IT IS shaping up to be a very long and very public cabinet reshuffle, which ultimately may not help Enda Kenny. The calls from some impatient Fine Gael backbenchers for "a radical reshuffle" of the nine senior and nine junior Fine Gael ministers were not especially surprising. These calls could also empower the Taoiseach to be more radical in his forthcoming surgery, explaining the need to drop some loyal supporters.

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So, some sort of indirect nod from Government Buildings for dissonant backbench statements cannot be ruled out. The idea of choreography became even more likely when the Taoiseach noticeably failed yesterday afternoon to express confidence in his long-struggling Health Minister James Reilly.

Mr Kenny preferred to say he would be discussing the new Cabinet with the new Labour leader. Such responses are rarely if ever a matter of accidental oversight. It adds to the likelihood that the Health Minister's cabinet days are numbered.

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