Kildare TDs hoping for junior minister jobs but competition is intense

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Kildare TDs hoping for junior minister jobs but competition is intense

Dáil Eireann / File Photo

Government TDs in Co Kildare will have their fingers crossed when new Taoiseach Micheál Martin announces his junior ministers on Wednesday.

Fine Gael chairman Martin Heydon and high profile TD James Lawless may be in the running for a Minister of State position.

Deputy Heydon said yesterday: “I think Kildare should have a Minister of State.

"We’re a large county with the fourth biggest county population in the country — only behind Dublin, Cork and Galway and now with eight TDs.

"I am fighting to ensure that Kildare will have a voice at that level.”

Deputy Lawless said: “Kildare requires major investment in schools, public transport, amenities and healthcare needs.

He said: “We haven’t had a voice at cabinet since Charlie McCreevy left to become Commissioner Brussels in 2004. I believe there is a very strong case now for a Minister of State for the county.

“Whilst every Minister has a national remit, it is important that Kildare has ministerial access to decision making circles. We are not Dublin but we are not quite the Midlands either.

"We are a heavily populated county with our own unique identity and needs and that can be missed unless there is an executive voice at the table.”

Meanwhile, Mr Lawless covered science and university issues for Fianna Fáil in the last Dáil and he said it was my proposal to establish the new Department of Higher Education and Innovation which has now been created for the  first time with former Minister for Health at the helm. 

He added: "With so many science and technology based firms located in Kildare, as well as Maynooth University, this will be a very relevant department as it creates a new wave of opportunities for both learning and jobs”.