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Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue. Alamy Stock Photo
European Union

Could McConalogue be the next EU commissioner? Minister says there's no point in speculating

The Agriculture Minister told reporters in Armagh yesterday that he was not ruling himself out of the race.

MINISTER FOR AGRICULTURE Charlie McConalogue has not ruled himself out of contention for the role of Ireland’s European Commissioner.

When asked in Armagh yesterday, where he was attending the North-South Ministerial Council, if he is now the frontrunner for the job, he said: 

“No, I certainly wouldn’t say that. That’d be a matter for the government and the three party leaders, obviously, there is agreement that it will be a Fianna Fáil nominee and obviously the Tánaiste will have a strong role to play in that, working with the three parties in government,” he said. 

However, when asked if he was ruling himself out of the race, he replied no.

Simon Harris, who is to become the country’s new Taoiseach today, told RTÉ’s This Week programme on Sunday: “I am very conscious of the fact that the name of next commissioner will be brought to cabinet by the leader of Fianna Fáil, Tánaiste Micheál Martin, that is my understanding.”

He went on to state that Martin will know to bring forward “a good name”, stating “it is important Ireland nominates a good person”. 

Under the programme for Government arrangement between the coalition parties, Fianna Fáil will be able to put forward names for the role in June.

McConalogue said “many names” have been speculated upon stating that he has no doubt that whoever wins out will have been considered as the best placed to do the job.

“I mean, it’s not something I’m considering. My only objective is to continue to do the work I’m doing, to continue to plan towards the next general election,” he said. 

The minister said it will be a matter for the government to approach whoever they feel is a strong candidate.

“I simply don’t see any point in speculating,” said the agriculture minister, who said the only thing he is focused on is the work in front of him. 

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