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O'Dea likely to be returned to front bench

Micheál Martin looks set to bring Limerick TD Willie O’Dea back to the front bench ahead of the general election.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive/Press Association Images

THE NEW LEADER of Fianna Fáil Micheál Martin looks set to return Limerick TD Willie O’Dea to the front bench ahead of the general election campaign.

The former defence minister was at the centre of a scandal last year after he swore a false affidavit, and it is likely that he will feel renewed criticism in relation to this as his profile rises again, the Sunday Times reports.

Meanwhile, Martin is deciding on who to appoint as his deputy leader this weekend. The two front-runners are Mary Hanafin (Dún Laoghaire) and Dara Calleary (Mayo). While the appointment of Calleary would help Martin to prove he is serious about shaking up the old power structures of the party, snubbing Hanafin could cause problems for Martin’s support in the capital.

Nevertheless, Calleary is guaranteed of a front-bench seat – and will likely join Billy Kellher, Barry Andrews, Séan Ó Fearghaíl, Barry Andrews, Peter Power, and Michael McGrath.

Read more in the print version of the Sunday Times >

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