Micheál Martin announces reshuffle of Fianna Fáil front-bench

Dara Calleary has been appointed deputy leader of the party

Micheál Martin announces reshuffle of Fianna Fáil front-bench

Micheál Martin. Photo: Sam Boal / RollingNews.ie

Fianna Fáil has announced a major reshuffle of their front-bench.

Dara Calleary has been appointed deputy leader, a position which had been vacant for years.

The Mayo TD has has also been made director of policy development.

Barry Cowen has been moved to public expenditure, with Darragh O'Brien taking the housing brief.

Stephen Donnelly has been appointed health spokesperson - meaning he will be taking on Simon Harris in both their Wicklow constituency and on the national stage - while Billy Kelleher moves to the jobs portfolio.

Lisa Chambers becomes Fianna Fáil's new spokesperson on Brexit, while Jack Chambers will join the front bench as spokesperson on defence

Niall Collins, meanwhile, is now the spokesperson for foreign affairs.

In a statement announcing the changes, Micheál Martin explained: “Fianna Fáil’s core aim in this Dáil is to make full use of the democratic mandate we have, to hold the Government to account and ensure that fairness is at the centre of the decision making process.  

“Through the Confidence and Supply Agreement we have secured a focus on investment in public services and we continue to drive forward the argument for action on the country’s housing and health crises.  

He added: "We will also continue to develop new policies and strategies to deal with the country’s problems, refreshing and renewing our plan to ensure an Ireland for all."

The changes will be seen as a bid to freshen up the party after a successive run of bad polls, and with an election possibly on the cards this year.

Additional reporting by Stephen McNeice