Thursday, July 02, 2020

Laois TD Brian Stanley speaking in the Dáil

By Carmel Hayes

LAOIS TD Brian Stanley has lost his place on the Sinn Féin front bench.

The 2020 general election poll-topper in Laois-Offaly was left out of the 15-strong front bench team announced this afternoon.

A TD since 2011, Deputy Stanley was the outgoing party spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural and Community Development.

It ends a disappointing week for Laois political representation, with the loss of a senior ministry by Deputy Charlie Flanagan (FG) and the absence of a minsterial role at any level for long-serving Deputy Seán Fleming (FF). It remains to be seen whether Deputy Fleming, outgoing chairman of the powerful Public Accounts Committee, is selected for another senior role in the new administration.

While constituency partner Offaly has a plum senior portfolio, with the appointment of Barry Cowen TD as Minister for Agriculture, Food and Marine, Laois is out in the political cold. The nearest the county gets to having a foot in the government’s door is the appointment of Kildare South TD Martin Heydon to a junior ministry in agriculture. Since the boundaries were redrawn, Heydon’s constituency includes a large section of Laois that takes in Portarlington, Ballybrittas and Killenard.

With the announcement of the Sinn Féin front bench this afternoon, Deputy Stanley’s role as party spokesperson on agriculture was taken by Matt Carthy from Monaghan.

The new SF front bench team is:

Mary Lou McDonald – Leader of the Opposition

Pearse Doherty – Finance

Louise O’Reilly – Enterprise, Trade and Employment

Eoin O’Broin – Housing, Heritage and Local Government

Mairéad Farrell – Public Expenditure and Reform

David Cullinane – Health

Kathleen Funchion – Children, Disability, Equality and Integration

Matt Carthy – Agriculture, Food and Marine

Claire Kerrane – Social Protection, Community and Rural Development and The Islands

Donnachadh Ó Laoghaire – Education

Rose Conway Walsh – Higher Education, Innovation and Science

Darren O’Rourke – Climate Action, Communications, Networks and Transport

Martin Kenny – Justice and Equality

Imelda Munster – Media, Tourism, Arts, Sport and the Gaeltacht

John Brady – Foreign Affairs and Defence

Aengus Ó Snodaigh – Gaeilge, Gaeltacht, Culture and Arts

Padraig MacLochlainn was appointed party whip and the Seanad leader is Niall Ó Donnghaile.



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