The Government’s Chief Whip, Fianna Fáil’s deputy leader Dara Calleary, was appointed Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport last night.

Dara Calleary, Mayo TD, expressed his dissatisfaction that the Taoiseach Michael Martin had not given him a senior ministry in the new coalition.

Dara Calleary will be working with Catherine Martin, deputy leader of the Green Party, who is the Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht.

Dara Calleary and Catherine Martin are fluent Irish speakers, both of whom have spoken frequently in the Dáil and elsewhere on Irish and Gaeltacht issues.

Politicians and community representatives alike had expressed dissatisfaction that no TD had been assigned a senior ministry located in any of seven counties west of the Shannon.

In addition to Dara Calleary, five others from the west of the country were appointed Ministers of State last night. They are:

– Charlie McConalogue, Fianna Fáil, Donegal, Department of Justice

– Frank Feighan, Fine Gael, Sligo-Leitrim, Department of Health

– Anne Rabbitte, Fianna Fáil, East Galway, Department of Children

– Niall Collins, Fianna Fáil, County Limerick, Department of Higher Education

– Patrick O’Donovan, Fine Gael, Limerick, Department of Public Expenditure and Reform.

On the weekend, Hildegarde Naughton, Fine Gael, Galway West, was appointed Minister of State in the Department of Climate Action and Transport.