There was disappointment locally that Fine Gael TD, Alan Farrell was, once again, overlooked for a full cabinet position in the recent mini reschuffle arising from the resignation of Frances Fitzgerald as Tánaiste.
Many of his supporters have expressed their disappointment that the Malahide man was overlooked in favour of southside TD, Josepha Madigan who was appointed as the new Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.
She replaces Heather Humphreys who will now become Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation after Frances Fitzgerald’s resignation.
Deputy Farrell has been touted as a likely minister by many in recent times. This has been accelerated by his impressive performances as a member of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Justice, Equality and Defence and the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform. He was also the chairperson of the Fine Gael Committee on Public Expenditure & Reform from 2011 – 2013 and the Fine Gael Committee on Justice, Defense & Equality from 2013 – 2016.
In 2013, Farrell was appointed Head of the Irish Delegation to the OSCE PA (Organisation for Security & Cooperation in Europe Parliamentary Assembly) by An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD.
He was also one of the first Fine Gael TDs to come out of the blocks in support of Leo Varadkar in the recent leadership battle with now Tánaiste, Simon Coveney. Many of his legion of supporters would have been quietly confident that Farrell would get the nod for the full ministerial position granted to Ms Madigan.
The County Leader spoke to Bob Dowling, Fine Gael Local Area Committee member for Swords and Donabate, and he feels that Deputy Farrell would have been an excellent choice as minister. He said: “Alan has been an outstanding parliamentarian, who has impressed people with his insightful contributions in the Dail, as well as his performances as a member of Oireachtas committees.
“This constituency has a long history of providing Government ministers to the Dail, including Ray Burke, Nora Owen, John Boland and James Reilly. With Metro North at a critical stage of its development and Dublin Airport growing at an alarming rate, we need a minister here, as we always have had. Alan Farrell would have made an ideal candidate,” he said.