Sunday 26 May 2019

Deasy rejects Kenny offer of chairman role

Fine Gael TD John Deasy. Pic Tom Burke
Fine Gael TD John Deasy. Pic Tom Burke

Fionnán Sheahan

Fine Gael TD John Deasy has turned down Taoiseach Enda Kenny's offer to become a Dáil committee chairman, the Irish Independent has learned.

Mr Deasy is a long-time critic of Mr Kenny, yet was linked with appointment to a junior minister position last month.

Despite having served as a TD since 2002, he was again passed over for promotion. Mr Deasy is understood to remain openly opposed to Mr Kenny's leadership, particularly after the Taoiseach's disastrous general election performance.

Mr Kenny's appointments of ministers, junior ministers, Senators and Oireachtas committee chairs have been seen as strategic moves aimed at quelling dissent by keeping party figures onside with promotions.

The Taoiseach says he will not lead Fine Gael into the next general election, but has not yet said when he will stand down.

In a recent interview with this newspaper, Mr Kenny said he would outline a "process" for handing over the leadership.

Government Chief Whip Regina Doherty's office made contact with Mr Deasy 10 days ago, enquiring about which committees he wanted to serve on. The Waterford TD said he didn't want any positions.

Mr Kenny followed up on Monday with a personal contact. Mr Deasy repeated his intentions. Mr Kenny offered him the chair of the Housing Committee, but Mr Deasy again declined.

The chairman's position comes with a payment of an extra €10,000.

Irish Independent

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Also in this section