Dara Calleary named as new Minister for Agriculture

Dara Calleary has been appointed as Minister for Agriculture, replacing Barry Cowen. File photograph

Dara Calleary is nominated as the new Minister for Agriculture, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has told the Dáil.

The appointment comes after the dramatic sacking of Fianna Fáil's Barry Cowen from the position on Tuesday night, after Mr Cowen refused to make a second public statement about a drink-driving ban imposed on him four years ago.

Jack Chambers has been appointed the Government's Chief Whip, replacing Mr Calleary, while Sean Fleming has been made a Junior Minister in the Department of Finance.

Speaking in the Dáil on Wednesday afternoon, the Taoiseach said he believes Mr Calleary will be a “very effective minister”.

The promotion of Mr Calleary, the deputy leader of Fianna Fáil, to a ministerial role has addressed one controversial issue of the new Government – the omission of a senior member of Cabinet from the west of Ireland.

Mr Calleary had previously said he had an "incredibly difficult" conversation with the Taoiseach and was "angry" when he was not initially appointed to a ministry.

According to The Irish Times, the 47-year-old has Fianna Fáil in his DNA. The Mayo TD has been in the Dáil since 2007 and was appointed chairman of Ógra Fianna Fáil by then taoiseach Bertie Ahern at the National Youth Conference in Co Offaly in February 2008.

He is the son of late TD and former minister of state Sean Calleary who served in the Dáil from 1973 to 1992.

His grandfather Phelim was TD for Mayo from 1952 to 1969.