News

Offaly TD loses junior minister post

Thursday, 22 June 2017

OFFALY/Tipperary TD, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy lost her junior ministry as the axe fell in a reshuffle by an Taoiseach amongst the junior ministerial ranks on Tuesday.

An Taoiseach announced the new ministers for state in his new administration earlier this week and it saw Offaly's Marcella Corcoran Kennedy dropped from the role of junior minister in the Department of Health.

Initially, it was thought Deputy Corcoran Kennedy mightn't lose her position, despite backing Varadkar's opponent in the recent Fine Gael race. Even, the Offaly TD was hopeful she might retain the position when she spoke to the Tribune over the last number of weeks.

However, it wasn't to be and it served as an "body blow" to both the Offaly TD and Fine Gael in Offaly and north Tipperary, according to the former junior health minister. Following the announcement, Deputy Corcoran Kennedy told the Tribune she was "disappointed" to have been demoted. 'I am disappointed not just for myself but for Fine Gael in Offaly and north Tipperary. It was a terrible blow for them."

Continuing, the Fine Gael TD said taking work rate, gender, geography and the constituency into consideration, she didn't understand how "somewhere like Offaly has nothing [no ministerial role]" now. "The reality was there had to be sacrifices. There were too many supporters that needed to be looked after and they were looked after," she quipped. Deputy Corcoran Kennedy also felt her demotion and the new junior ministerial role announcements were "disappointing" from the gender perspective. 'It was very disappointing from a gender perspective", she added.

Meanwhile as Marcella's former role in health promotion goes to Dublin South-Central TD, Catherine Byrne, it's thought Varadkar was under pressure to make noticeable changes to the junior ranks having made very few changes to the Cabinet bench last week. In total, five backbenchers were promoted to junior ministers while of the four former junior ministers who supported Coveney, just David Stanton and Damien English were retained while Deputy Corcoran Kennedy and Dara Murphy were both dropped.

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