Thursday 17 January 2019

Kevin 'Boxer' Moran to remain minister of State over Office of Public Works in blow to Sean Canney

Kevin ‘Boxer’Moran, pictured, and Sean Canney had agreed to alternate the post of Floods Minister – a deal that is in dispute
Kevin ‘Boxer’Moran, pictured, and Sean Canney had agreed to alternate the post of Floods Minister – a deal that is in dispute
Philip Ryan

Philip Ryan

Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has landed a knockout blow on his Independent Alliance colleague Sean Canney.

After months of internal wrangling between the Independent TDs, Mr Moran has won out and will retain his position as Minister of State over the Office of Public Works (OPW).

The two colleagues agreed to rotate the position after the current government was formed.

Mr Canney held the portfolio for the first year before handing over the reins of the department to Mr Moran.

In recent months, Mr Canney, a Galway East TD, argued that Mr Moran, who represents the Longford/Westmeath constituency, should hand back the ministry after 12 months.

However, Mr Moran insisted the deal, which was agreed by a coin toss, was that Mr Canney would serve the first year and he remaining minister until the Dail was dissolved.

Seán Canney. Photo: Tom Burke
Seán Canney. Photo: Tom Burke

At a meeting today, the other members of the Independent Alliance are understood to have sided with Mr Moran.

This included Transport Minister Shane Ross, Disability Minister Finian McGrath and Junior Minister John Halligan.

"When the deal was first agreed in 2016 nobody in the room thought the Government would last this long," a source said.

"But it was never the position that the ministry would be rotated back to Sean, it wasn't agreed that way," the source added.

A statement released after the meeting said: “The Independent Alliance has today confirmed that Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW and Flood Relief, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, will be continuing in that role for the remainder of the term of this Government.

“This follows recent media commentary as to who would fill the role going forward after two years in Government.

“The Independent Alliance met this afternoon and expressed its support for Minister of State Moran and the work he has been progressing while in office.”

Online Editors

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

Also in this section