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Early revolt for Taoiseach as FF anger brews over Calleary snub

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Fianna Fail’s Michael McGrath and Dara Calleary arrive for a Cabinet meeting yesterday

Fianna Fail’s Michael McGrath and Dara Calleary arrive for a Cabinet meeting yesterday

PA

Fianna Fail’s Michael McGrath and Dara Calleary arrive for a Cabinet meeting yesterday

A Fianna Fail grassroots revolt has been sparked by Taoiseach Micheal Martin's decision to "snub" his deputy leader Dara Calleary.

Fianna Fail councillors held an emergency meeting over Mr Calleary's appointment as Chief Whip rather than a full Cabinet position and agreed to raise concerns directly with Mr Martin.

Mayo county councillors from Fianna Fail and Fine Gael also voted to write to the new Taoiseach to complain about the lack of ministerial representation in the west.

Difficult

It comes after Mr Calleary revealed his anger and the "incredibly difficult conversation" he had with Mr Martin after he realised he was the last Fianna Fail TD to be offered a role.

"There weren't any other jobs on the table offered to me. We had a very difficult conversation and I told him I was disappointed," he told MidWest Radio.

"I hear the anger, I understand the anger, I was that angry person yesterday," he added in reference to the criticism of Mr Martin.

Meanwhile, the newly appointed Mayo County Council chairperson Richard Finn said there was a "lot of disquiet" over the new Cabinet and councillors had voted to instruct the chief executive to write to the Taoiseach outlining concerns.

"The general gist of the letter would be to express our dissatisfaction with the way the ministries were distributed and where different jobs and portfolios went," the Independent councillor said.

The motion was agreed by Fianna Fail and Fine Gael members of the council yesterday.

Separately, the Fianna Fail councillors' group in Mayo agreed to write to Mr Martin to express anger over the failure to appoint Mr Calleary as a full Cabinet minister.

Swinford councillor Michael Smyth told the Herald: "We're all devastated that he didn't receive a senior role, but I think it's fair to say that Dara has to be the minister for the west.

"We have to get on with it. There is anger at Micheal about this."

Mr Smyth said the Fianna Fail councillors wanted to "put on record our disappointment".

Resign

"The decision not to make Dara a senior minister is a deficit. We hope that balance will be corrected when we have junior ministers appointed. We're not happy about it," he added.

The chair of the local Fianna Fail branch in Mr Calleary's Mayo constituency, John Maxwell, told MidWest Radio he intended to resign from the party over Mr Calleary's exclusion.

However, he added he had not made a final decision on this.

Mr Maxwell said Mr Calleary had "Micheal Martin's back" when Fine Gael ministers were "wiping the floor with him".

Roscommon Fianna Fail senator Eugene Murphy said: "It's really concerning that Dara Calleary was not given a full Cabinet position."