These are heady days for Fine Gael. By the admission of its own members and ministers, the party has enjoyed a remarkable ride as the media followed its leadership debate and eventual outcome over the last couple of months.
Brand new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s junior ministerial announcements today have been overshadowed by the Máire Whelan controversy.
Brendan Griffin Appointed
However, South Kerry and the county as a whole will know that Keel native, Brendan Griffin, TD has been appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with special responsibility for tourism and sport.
It is probably the post most suitable to a Kerry TD to hold as he will have no little experience in a county with an abundance of opportunities to impress on all fronts.
Former County Councillor
A former member of Kerry County Council, Brendan Griffin was first elected to Dáil Éireann in the election which destroyed Fianna Fáil in 2011.
In the February 2016 election it was expected he would struggle to hold his seat in the all-Kerry constituency.
In fact he increased his vote to a total of 9,674 and came in soon after the land-sliding Healy Rae brothers, Michael and Danny and while losing his party colleague and former mentor, Jimmy Deenihan along the way.
Cllr. O’Connell Travelled
Minister Griffin’s party colleague, Cllr. Bobby O’Connell is in Dublin today for the ‘coronation’ of his friend from back the Maine.
“I’m delighted for him and for Kerry because tourism is a big thing for Kerry and he initiated the nine and a half percent VAT rate a few years ago.
“I’ll be talking to him about the Castleisland Soccer Club’s plans with the community college to develop the pitch as they didn’t get a bob from any source yet.
“He will of course be pushing for the 2023 World Rugby Cup and putting Killarney’s and Kerry’s case in for serious consideration.
But, we must remember he’s a junior minister for the whole country and they’ll be all wanting whatever they can get from him – but we’ll be keeping him posted said a delighted Cllr.
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