Mayo Fianna Fáil TD Dara Calleary has returned to the top level of Government having been appointed Minister of State in the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, to replace Robert Troy.
It marks a quick turnaround for the Ballina-based TD who stepped down as Minister for Agriculture just 37 days after being appointed to that position in 2020 following the ‘Golfgate’ affair.
49-year-old Calleary was first elected as TD in 2007 and previously served as Minister of State in the Department of Enterprise in 2009, appointed by former Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
He was the sole Fianna Fáil TD returned by the people of Mayo in the 2011 general election that marked a disastrous result for his party and was a key player in rebuilding the party, serving in a number of party spokesperson roles and then later as the party’s deputy leader from 2018.
After the 2020 general election he was initially overlooked for a position in the cabinet, but was appointed as the Government Chief Whip before being appointed as Minister for Agriculture, before stepping down from that role not long after being appointed to it.
Speaking after this appointment, Minister Calleary said: he is delighted to be appointed Minister of State for Trade Promotion, Digital and Company Regulation at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
“I look forward to getting stuck in straight away and continuing to build on the great work my colleague Robert Troy TD has done in the department.
“The Department is full of hard-working and talented people and I’m looking forward to working alongside them.
“This is a great personal honour and I am very grateful to my family, my colleagues, my supporters and my constituents for their ongoing support.”
Minister Calleary was wished well in his new role by his constituency and coalition colleagues from Fine Gael, with Deputy Alan Dillon saying: “I want to wish Dara the very best of luck and every success on his new role and look forward to working with Minister of State Calleary in helping Irish business and families navigate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead at both national and local level.”
Michael Ring TD said: “I wish to take this opportunity to congratulate Dara on his new appointment. I am delighted that Dara has been promoted in such a manner. I am a colleague of Dara’s for a long number of years and I wish Dara every success in this role.”
His constituency party colleague Senator Lisa Chambers said: “Congratulations to my colleague, Dara Calleary, on his appointment as Minister of State. A good day for Mayo,” in a social media post.
Mayo Sinn Fein TD Rose Conway Walsh also added her congratulations, saying in a social media post: "Congratulations and best of luck to my Mayo constituency colleague, Dara Calleary. I wish him well in this hugely important portfolio. SMEs in Mayo are crippled with huge energy bills and costs. We need timely and solid interventions/solutions. I look forward to working with him.”