City overlooked as two junior ministries go to the county

Deputy Willie O'Dea Photo: Brendan Gleeson

FIANNA Fáil TD Willie O’Dea says he is bitterly disappointed for the people of Limerick that the third largest city and “economic driver of the Mid-West” has been completely overlooked for either senior or junior ministerial appointments.

Deputy O’Dea told the Limerick Post that he has been inundated with messages from constituents who feel let down and grossly insulted.

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“Limerick is now the only city with no Ministerial representation at Government. There are three Government TDs out of four in Limerick City, yet Micheál Martin has felt it appropriate to grossly insult all the people of Limerick City with this decision,” he commented.

However, there was better news for TDs in County Limerick last week when Taoiseach Micheál Martin appointed additional Ministers of State and assigned their responsibilities.

Niall Collins, who has held several senior positions in Fianna Fáil, was appointed Minister of State in the newly created Department of Higher Education. The 47-year-old previously served as opposition spokesperson for Justice and Equality and spokesperson for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.

“I am looking forward to the challenge in this new role and to working with Minister Simon Harris,” Deputy Collins said.

“It is a challenge which I’m looking forward to as we need to provide more further education and apprenticeship opportunities to our young people. The role also includes third level colleges, universities and research. Achieving a promotion like this isn’t  easy and I’d like to thank the Fianna Fáil Party in County Limerick as well as my supporters and family for their invaluable support. I will however first and foremost remain being a TD for County Limerick where my priority will be working for people and communities,” he added.

Fine Gael TD Patrick O’Donovan was appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Office of Public Works (OPW). The 43-year-old  previously served as Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment, from June 2017 until June 2020. Before that he was Minister of State for Tourism and Sport in 2016-17.