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Ring ‘ready to serve’ in cabinet again


ALL SMILES Deputy Michael Ring, pictured here with Leo Varadkar in Westport in 2018, is hoping to secure a second ministry under the incoming Taoiseach this week. Pic: Maxwells

Anton McNulty

FORMER Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring says he is ready and available to serve in Government. He believes the county deserves to have a minister, he said.
Fine Gael leader and Tánaiste, Leo Varadkar, will become the next taoiseach on December 17, replacing Micheál Martin as per the rotating-taoiseach deal between the two parties under the Programme of Government.
When he previously served as taoiseach from 2017 to 2020, Varadkar appointed Ring to cabinet for the first time as the Minister for Rural and Community Development. However, following the creation of the new Government in 2020, Ring was not reappointed to cabinet and also failed to get a junior ministry.
Speaking to The Mayo News, the Westport-based TD said that he has not given up on a role in Government.
“There was only six [Fine Gael] ministries last time. It is a numbers game, but I am still ready and available. I feel other people got their chance and he [Varadkar] should change it around a bit and bring in fresh faces again,” Deputy Ring said.

Cabinet voice
When the names of the new ministers were announced in June 2020, the lack of positions for TDs from the west of Ireland caused controversy. Ballina-based TD, Dara Calleary was eventually appointed Minister of Agriculture in July 2020, following the sacking of Barry Cowen, but he was forced to step down after attending an Oireachtas Golf Society dinner in Clifden in August 2020.
Deputy Ring said that Mayo and the west of Ireland deserve to have a voice at Cabinet, and he believes he deserves the opportunity after topping the poll at the last general election.
“They could do with somebody from the west of Ireland. Mayo is the only place with two Fine Gael TDs outside Dublin. I was the only one from Fine Gael to top the poll in the whole country and only one of two TDs to bring in a running mate. We should have a minister in Mayo.”