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Mr Big's chicken 'n' chips, more refusals than a céilí and Choir Boys final chorus: winners and losers in junior ministers' joust

Fionnán Sheahan


The appointment of the junior ministers has left plenty of talking points in political circles, with all the attention on the names left out

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Josepha Madigan is one of five female junior ministers of the total 20

Josepha Madigan is one of five female junior ministers of the total 20

Josepha Madigan is one of five female junior ministers of the total 20

There were more refusals for a jig than you'd get at a céilí.

Jim O'Callaghan, Joe McHugh and John-Paul Phelan all turned down offers of roles in government in the junior ministerial jaunt. The appointments of the second string followed the bungled Cabinet selection, where the new government forgot to include the west of Ireland. Taoiseach Micheál Martin and Tánaiste Leo Varadkar have sought to compensate with several junior ministers down the Atlantic seaboard. Here are the topics to emerge:

A hero rises

Fianna Fáil dissidents have been holding out for a hero to stand up to Micheál Martin for years, with nobody coming along. Now Big Jim O'Callaghan appears to have stepped forth. The Dublin Bay South Senior Counsel and TD has turned down a gig as the junior minister for justice in charge of law reform saying his energy and abilities will be better used on the backbenches.