Fianna Fáil announces changes to frontbench following Ó Cuív sacking

Dara Calleary will take over Éamon Ó Cuív's role as rural affairs spokesman

Fianna Fáil announces changes to frontbench following Ó Cuív sacking

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin (right) and deputy leader Dara Calleary in 2014 | Image: Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

Fianna Fáil is shaking up its frontbench, after Galway TD Éamon Ó Cuív was removed from his role there in November.

Deputy Ó Cuív was one of two senior party members involved in unveiling a party candidate for elections in Northern Ireland, without approval from party leadership.

Senator Mark Daly was also sacked as the party's deputy leader in the Seanad for his part in the event.

It was also tweeted from the @OgraFiannaFail account.

However, the party insisted that it had yet to make a decision on whether to contest local elections there next year.

The move was widely seen as an example of senior party members going rogue.

Fianna Fáil leader Micheal Martin speaks as Eamon O'Cuiv listens in 2015 | Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

As part of the changes to the frontbench, deputy party leader Dara Calleary will take responsibility for Regional Development, Rural Affairs and the Gaeltacht.

This was the portfolio held by Mr Ó Cuív.

While John Curran will join the frontbench as spokesperson for National Drug Policy and Urban Affairs.

On the changes, party leader Micheál Martin said: "I am pleased to announce these important developments.

"John Curran has an immense depth of experience in urban regeneration and drugs policy, and will bring new focus and energy to an issue that has been entirely neglected by this Government.

"Meanwhile, the continued decline of rural Ireland and Fine Gael's failure to manage any sort of regional balance in terms of investment and job creation is a pressing national priority.

"The appointment of our deputy leader to this portfolio demonstrates Fianna Fáil's determination to hold the Government to account and secure a change in direction."