31/01/2011

Martin Front Bench To Be Named

Some young blood is expected to enter the Irish Republic's Cabinet later today after the new Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin announces his frontbench later this afternoon.

Mr Martin is due to meet senior party TDs to discuss his appointments at 2pm where three of Fianna Fáil’s most prominent young TDs, Barry Andrews, Dara Calleary and Billy Kelleher, are expected to be promoted to the party’s front bench for the remainder of Fianna Fail's time as the Government.

Mr Martin is also expected to promote more women to the cabinet, and has already contacted TDs at the weekend to inform them of their selection. However, it is not believed that all appointees have been informed of their portfolios.

However, all incoming Ministers will have a tough time making an impact on their departments as the Dáil is set to be dissolved tomorrow afternoon so that parties can begin hitting the campaign trail around the country.

Speaking today about the upcoming election, Mr Martin said that he saw a new energy and vitality in the Fianna Fail party and wanted to take the opportunity to get a fresh message across to the electorate.

Speaking about recent election polls, the Fianna Fail leader said: "I think there are signs that we are improving and that the level of support is increasing, although there is a long journey ahead.

"This is no time for soundbites, political reform begins here. The people deserve to know what are the credible detailed programmes being offered by each party so they can make an informed choice."

Fianna Fail are expected to fair poorly in the upcoming election although the appointment of Mr Martin and departure of Taoiseach Brian Cowen as party leader has marginally improved approval ratings for the governing party.

(DW/GK)

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