The deputy leader of Fianna Fail has expressed anger and disappointment at being overlooked for a senior Cabinet position.
Dara Calleary was appointed government chief whip by Taoiseach Micheal Martin following the formation of the historic Fianna Fail/Fine Gael/Green Party coalition administration on Saturday.
Mr Calleary’s comments come amid wider criticism from voters and political activists in the west of Ireland about the lack of representation in the Cabinet.
The Mayo TD said the conversation with party leader Mr Martin was “incredibly difficult”.
I told him I was disappointed. I had hoped to lead a department, that has always been my ambition and it is still my ambition todayDara Calleary
“It wasn’t the weekend I expected,” he said.
“There weren’t any other jobs on the table offered to me.
“We had a very difficult conversation and I told him I was disappointed. I had hoped to lead a department, that has always been my ambition and it is still my ambition today, and it will happen, it will absolutely happen.”
The Fianna Fail stalwart said he plans to make the most of the job he has been given and be a “loud voice” for the west of Ireland at Cabinet.
Mr Calleary’s remarks to Midwest Radio came ahead of the first meeting of the new Cabinet in Dublin on Monday afternoon.
He said he had been “blown away” by the messages of support from constituents since Saturday.
He acknowledged there is a lot of anger in the west.
“I hear that anger, I understand that anger, I am going to take that anger on and turn it into action,” he said.
“I am going to take that anger on and let it drive me on around the Cabinet table to turn that into action.
“I was that angry person yesterday and I am going to dust it down and make the most of this.”