Dara Calleary

  • Changes in the policing structure, which will see the Mayo Garda division merging with Roscommon & Longford, will be discussed this afternoon at a JPC meeting in Castlebar.

    This is the first meeting of the Joint Policing Committee since the local elections in May, and provides a forum for An Garda Siochana, elected representatives, local authority officials and representatives from community and voluntary sectors to discuss issues around policing and crime.

    Mayo Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary is also calling for a discussion today in relation to drugs policing across the county.

  • The Comhairle Ceantair of Fianna Fáil in Mayo held an emergency Zoom meeting yesterday evening as members struggle to come to terms with the exclusion of  Deputy Dara Calleary from new Taoiseach’s  list of senior ministers.

    There is fury among the members of Fianna Fáil in the county  at the decision to appoint Dara Calleary to the position of Government Chief Whip, which means he will sit at Cabinet in the new Fianna Fáil/Fine Gael/Green Party government but won’t have a portfolio or a vote.

  • The Crossmolina Flood Relief Scheme is being finalised for submission to the Department of Public Works for formal confirmation.

    There has been some delays as a result of Covid-19 but local Fianna Fail Deputy Dara Calleary says the process is now moving once again.

    Deputy Calleary says this time of the year is the beginning of fear amongst residents in Crossmolina with regards to flooding.

    He says the construction work will take around two to three years to complete but is committed to finishing the project sooner than that timescale.

  • The new cabinet of Ministers has been appointed.

    Mayo TD and Fianna Fáil Deputy Leader Dara Calleary has been appointed as Chief Whip in the new coalition government.

    The appointment will see the Ballina based TD, assume a super-junior minister role.

    He will be a Minister of State assigned to the Department of the Taoiseach and will be responsible for the voting arrangements for the government TDs and ensuring their adherence to the government line.

    There had been strong speculation that he would have received a full cabinet ministry and Galway's Anne Rabbitte has also missed out on a senior cabinet position.

    Ballindine native and Green Party senator Pippa Hackett has also been appointed as a super junior minister, as has Galway Fine Gael TD Hildegarde Naughton.

    Michael Ring has lost his seat at the cabinet, with his former ministry, the Department for Rural Affairs and Community Development, having been disbanded.
    Helen McEntee has been promoted to Justice Minister.
    Darragh O'Brien is the new Housing Minister with Stephen Donnelly taking over Health.
    Fianna Fáil's Norma Foley has been appointed Education Minister with Simon Harris taking over a new Department for Higher Education.
    Simon Coveney remains as Foreign Affairs Minister and takes charge of Defence.
    Paschal Donohoe is Finance Minister with Michael McGrath taking public expenditure.
    Barry Cowen is Agriculture Minister with Heather Humphreys taking Social Protection and rural affairs.
    A new Department of Climate Action, Communications networks and Transport goes to Green leader Eamon Ryan.
    While Catherine Martin takes charge of Culture, arts, media, tourism, sport and the Gaeltacht.


    Dara Calleary has been named as the new Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

    Jack Chambers has been named the new government Chief Whip while Sean Fleming has been promoted to Junior Minister in the Department of Finance.

    It comes as Micheál Martin faced increased scrutiny in the Dáil over his sacking of Barry Cowen last night.

    Martin defended voting down proposals yesterday afternoon that would have brought Mr Cowen into the Dáil to answer questions on his drink driving offence.

    The Taoiseach said he wanted Barry Cowen to do so voluntarily and when he refused he was sacked.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin says he gave Mr Cowen every chance to address the issue:




  • The Agriculture Minister Dara Calleary has resigned.

    He has just told Midwest News that he tendered his resignation to the Taoiseach and it has been accepted.

    He apologised last night for going to a golf event attended by 80 people that broke Covid 19 guidelines.

    The minister admitted he shouldn't have gone to the Oireachtas Golf Society dinner at a hotel in Clifden, Co. Galway on Wednesday.

    The government's guidelines state only six people can attend indoor gatherings - with some exceptions for up to 50 people.

  • Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and the Greens will announce the results of ballots later on this evening on whether or not they will go into Government together.

    The Dail is planning to meet tomorrow with the hope of electing a Taoiseach.

    Votes are being from the members of Fine Gael, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party on whether or not they support the programme for government.

    It's 139 days since the general election, almost double the length of time it took to form the last government.

    Counting of the postal votes is underway -with the results expected sometime this evening.

    Fine Gael has the easiest job with just around 700 votes to count from their electoral college system.

    Fianna Fáil will have the most, with more than 14,000 individual members eligible to vote.

    But it's expected both of those parties will approve the deal, and they only need 50 per cent plus one vote.

    The Green Party's count will be subject to the most attention today.

    They need two thirds of members to back the deal, and there's been a vocal campaign against it.

    Sources in the party believe they do have the numbers, but it's expected to be tight.

    However, overall there is rising optimism this lunchtime that a government will be in place this weekend.

    Already speculation is rife on who may get cabinet positions in the new government.

    At Ministerial level the Greens will have three seats - Eamon Ryan, Catherine Martin and likely Dublin West TD Roderic O'Gorman.

    For Fine Gael Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and Paschal Donohoe are guaranteed cabinet seats.

    It's expected Heather Humphreys and Simon Harris will also be retained - leaving one seat open. Mayo Minister Michael Ring may lose out in the new coalition

    There's many names in contention with a raft of sitting Ministers set to lose out.

    TDs Helen McEntee and Galway’s Hildegarde Naughten are both being tipped as potential promotions.

    For Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin, Mayo’s Dara Calleary and Michael McGrath will sit at cabinet.

    Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte is also expected to have a Ministry.

    After that there's four strong contenders for two seats.

    Barry Cowen and Thomas Byrne in Leinster, and Dublin TDs Jim O'Callaghan and Darragh O'Brien.

    Each party will have a super junior minister that sits at cabinet, but there will be disappointed big names in Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil if a government is formed this weekend.

  • A Mayo TD says the directive issued to Coast Guard members, no longer permitting them to use emergency lights and sirens on vehicles while driving, further demonstrates the need for the Coast Guard to be put on a statutory basis.

    The Fianna Fail Deputy leader Dara Calleary says the Irish Coast Guard is one of Ireland's four principal emergency services, yet it is the only blue light service not covered by Statutory Instrument legislation which ensures standalone status.

    Deputy Calleary says the directive issued to coast guard members no longer permitting them to use emergency lights and sirens has caused concern about potential delays when travelling to incidents.

    He believes the Coast Guard needs to be recognised as a statutory body to ensure investment in stations and to recognise the important service they provide

  • The Health Minister will be questioned in the Dáil today over the delays in proceeding with the extension of the Emergency Department at Mayo University Hospital.

    Fianna Fail’s Deputy leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary, will question Minister Simon Harris on the issue, saying that even though proposals have been submitted to the HSE, there is no sense of urgency in moving towards construction.

    In the meantime, Deputy Calleary says staff work and patients are treated under intolerable conditions at the Emergency Department in Castlebar, and he’s calling for an urgent response from the Minister and from the HSE.



  • Fianna Fáil has announced a major re-shuffle of its front bench.

    Micheál Martin has appointed Ballina based deputy  Dara Calleary as the deputy leader of the party, a position which had been vacant for years.

    Barry Cowen has been moved to Public Expenditure, with Darragh O'Brien taking the Housing brief.

    Stephen Donnelly has been appointed Health Spokesperson while Billy Kelleher moves to the jobs portfolio.

    Castlebar’s Lisa Chambers is the new spokesperson on Brexit, Niall Collins moves to Foreign Affairs, while Jack Chambers will join the front bench as Spokesperson on Defence.


  • Cabinet Ministers are considering what capital projects to delay to meet the cost of the new National Children's Hospital.

    100 million euro has to be found in this year's budget to make up for overruns on the hospital site.

    50 million needs to come from this year's health budget - and 50 million from other Departments.

    Meanwhile, the Fianna Fail deputy leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary, is bringing a Private Members Motion before the Dáil this evening, which would require the Comptroller & Auditor General to take control of any public project that's running over-budget.

    Deputy Calleary says his Bill would require the intervention of the Comptroller & Auditor General where projects are set to go 20% over budget.



  • As the controversy continues over Minister Denis Naughten’s communication with a representative of Independent News Media (INM), the deputy leader of Fianna Fail Dara Calleary, says his party is not at this point calling for Minister Naughten to resign.

     It is calling for the Taoiseach Leo Varadkar to explain how he can be “happy” with Minister Naughten’s explanation to the Dail over the matter.

    Denis Naughten has stated that he regrets speaking to a lobbyist for INM in what he has termed a personal capacity about the planned takeover of Celtic Media.

    Oppostion TDs in the Dail today were not accepting that “excuse” as “good enough”.

    Deputy Calleary explained to Midwest News why his party wants accountability from the Taoiseach now

  • Engineering Design Consultants for the long-awaited Ballina Flood Relief Scheme are set to be appointed in January 2020.

    This news has been confirmed this morning by Deputy Leader of Fianna Fáil Dara Calleary.

    The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Kevin Boxer Moran has informed the Mayo TD that a tender competition for the procurement of engineering design consultants for the project is underway and it is anticipated that the consultants will be appointed in January 2020.

    Deputy Calleary says the consultants will be responsible for preparing a programme for the implementation of the flood relief scheme and for assessing all viable options to address the flood risk in the Bachelors Walk/Arbuckle Row, Howley Terrace area of the town.

  • The Government must now more than ever seriously examine the proposals put forward by Fianna Fail to allow Credit Unions to provide loans to those wishing to purchase a home.

    Fianna Fail’s Deputy Leader, Mayo TD Dara Calleary says an internal document from the Department of Housing details how further approvals are not currently being issued for the Rebuilding Ireland Home Loan.

    The Housing Minister has confirmed that the scheme will be reopening as soon as possible for the ten local authorities affected, however Deputy Calleary says alternatives must be looked at to prevent this problem from happening again.

  • The family of the young  showjumper from Foxford  who died yesterday from injuries sustained in a road collision last week in Belgium, were remembered at today’s funeral Mass for former Minister and East Mayo TD Sean Calleary this afternoon.

    St Murdeach’s cathedral was packed to capacity, with many mourners standing outside in glorious sunshine for the concelebrated Mass for the late Fianna Fail politician in Ballina.

    The Chief Celebrant, The Bishop of Killala Dr John Fleming spoke of Sean’s 19 years representing the people of his constituency, and described him as a man who was deeply conscious of his role as their representative in Dail Eireann and was also described him as a deeply Christian man

    In a eulogy to his father, deputy Dara Calleary spoke of what a gift Sean was to his family and how lucky they were to have him in their lives – into his 86th year.

    He asked those who prayed for his Dad today to also pray for the family of 25 year old Jack Dodd. Jack passed away yesterday at Maastricht University Hospital.

  • Funding of over €143,000 has been allocated for seven projects in Co Mayo, from the European Maritime & Fisheries Fund.

    The funding supports the development of the seafood sector and coastal communities, with grant aid allocated up to 80% of the cost of projects.

    9 projects across the Northwest region will benefit from the grants- with 7 of these projects in Co Mayo.

    The largest grant of €72,000 goes to Cumann Iascairí Chois Chósta Iorrais Teo in Belmullet for a  mobile boat lifting trailer, with over €21000 for Newport 300 as the town celebrates its 300 year history.

    Over €17,700 has been allocated for the UISCE Business Development Plan in Belmullet, with over €11,800 for Bia Mara on Inisturk, €9,173 for Muintir a' Chorrain Teo in Achill for maritime information boards, over €8,800 for the Grainne Uaile Search and Recovery Unit in Ballina to purchase dry suits and surface suits for diving and searching, and €2,650 for the Ballyglass Crew Yachtmaster.


    The Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary has resigned from his positions after he attended an event in Clifden, Co Galway, on Wednesday where 81 people were present.

    They were both guests at an Oireachtas Golf Society event, which was held in a hotel.

    Taoiseach Micheál Martin has accepted Mr Calleary's resignation from Cabinet.

    Dara Calleary told Midwest Radio today that the Taoiseach is "both angry and disappointed" in him and he had let him and his colleagues in Government down, "so he is entitled to be angry and disappointed and they are all entitled to that anger and disappointment". 

    Meanwhile, Gardaí are investigating possible breaches of Covid-19 guidelines at the Oireachtas dinner in Galway on Wednesday night.

    The Taoiseach has accepted his resignation and says it was an error in judgement.

    Speaking to Midwest Radio this morning, Dara Calleary says he didn't expect over 80 people to be there.


  • There has been mixed reaction to the range of new measures announced by the government to combat the spread of Covid-19.

    The Minister for Agriculture Dara Calleary gave his view on the rising numbers, the talk of disagreement within cabinet on the issue and the focus on getting the schools re-opened.

    The Mayo based Minister told Midwest News this morning and says he knows some of yesterday’s decisions will be unpopular but they were left with no other option.

    Minister Calleary says we are beginning to see cluster outbreaks associated with sporting events.

  • A letter is to be forwarded to the Taoiseach Míchéal Martin from members of Mayo County Council insisting that the new Taoiseach ensures that Mayo and the west is adequately represented in his appointments of new Ministers of State tomorrow.

    There were angry contributions by both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael councillors, and Independents at the start of yesterday’s AGM of Mayo County Council, outraged by the failure of the new Taoiseach Míchéal Martin to appoint Dara Calleary as a Senior Minister in his new cabinet, and the omission of Michael Ring from Tanaiste’s Leo Varadkar’s Senior Ministerial positions.

    The Fianna Fail deputy leader, Mayo deputy Calleary has been appointed Chief Whip by Taoiseach Míchéal Martin on Saturday evening, and admitted his disappointment on Midwest Radio yesterday, but said there was no other job offered to him.

    At yesterday's Council AGM, Councillors called for the imbalance in the new Cabinet to be redressed, by appointing both FG's Michael Ring and Fianna Fail Senator Lisa Chambers as Junior Ministers.

    The list of Junior Ministers is expected to be announced tomorrow (Wednesday).

    Ballinrobe based Councillor Damien Ryan, is the Fianna Fail whip on Mayo County Council  and he says there is a precedent for a Senator to be elected to a Junior Ministerial position, and he would like to see his party collegeue Lisa Chambers offered such a post.

    He says the Taoiseach had limited Ministerial jobs to give out, but it was disappointing that the West of Ireland had lost out.

    While Fianna Fail Councillor John Caulfield told Midwest News that he expected Dara Calleary to get a senior Ministerial brief, but while that's not the case, he expects Deputy Calleary to use the position of Chief Whip to do his best for Co Mayo...

    At yesterday’s AGM Charlestown Sinn Fein councillor Gerry Murray questioned why everyone was so surprised by Saturday’s Senior Ministerial announcements. He believes that the failure to include Michael Ring and Dara Calleary as Senior Ministers just adds political discrimination to the economic and social discrimination being experienced in this region for decades by successive governments.

  • A Mayo Deputy says the rollout of the vaccination programme in the county had been “all over the place” with some practices receiving no supplies while others received far too much for their needs.

    Fianna Fail TD Dara Calleary instanced his own home town of Ballina where three practices received a supply of vaccines and three did not.

    Deputy Calleary has questioned who is in charge of the vaccine roll-out and says there are certain issues that need to be resolved.

    However, he says the plan to have all of the over 85's to be vaccinated by next week is still well on track.