The Taoiseach has responded to the criticism regarding his allocation of senior ministries and the surprise exclusion of Mayo’s Dara Calleary.

The Fianna Fail leader insists that the deputy leader and Government chief whip will have a central role in the government.

Mr Martin told the Irish Examiner that Deputy Calleary is very experienced and he needs a very experienced chief whip.

Deputy Martin added that the Mayo TD will have additional responsibilities and argued that former chief whips like Séamus Brennan and Mary Hanafin went on to have stellar careers.

He concluded saying that there was a limited number of portfolios, and in the ones Fianna Fail got he wanted people who could hit the ground running.

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