Once again Roscommon has been passed over when it comes to the allocation of ministries in the new Cabinet and the county has neither a senior nor junior minister as a result. However, we can take solace from the fact that we are not alone here in the west when it comes to a dearth of ministerial representation. Mayo finds itself in similar circumstances, while Leitrim languishes at an even lower level, without any representation in the Dáil, never mind at the cabinet table. Voters in east Galway can take heart from the fact that the constituency has retained one junior minister, with Michael Kitt replacing Noel Treacy as the cabinet representative. It’s no great surprise, given that the Kitt family now has more Dáil representation than the Progressive Democrats in the new Government. However, it will disappoint many people in the Ballinasloe area that their local Fianna Fáil TD has lost out. Michael Finneran has a long and distinguished career as a parliamentarian. He has proved an able dealer on lots of difficult issues locally and this was reflected in his poll-topping result in the recent general election. Many will argue that Finneran’s hard work, enthusiasm and professionalism should have been rewarded with a post of some kind. As Fianna Fáil prepared to go into government with the Green Party, he expressed his reservations about this move, reservations shared by many people in County Roscommon, both within and without the party he stands for. Such outspokenness is not a sign of petulance or contrariness, rather it reveals the courage to properly represent the real concerns of constituents. It seems that the current Fianna Fáil leader has failed to recognise the talents of the Taughmaconnell man, or appreciate that his outburst on the coalition with the Greens reflected real concerns on the ground in County Roscommon.