One year ago it looked likely that Frank Feighan’s Dáil career was over for all time – now he’s received confirmation that he is to be appointed as a Minister of State in the new Government.
The remarkable transformation in the Boyle man’s fortunes is the latest twist in a political career which now spans 21 years. Deputy Feighan (who will celebrate his 58th birthday this Saturday) was politically down and out in 2016 when he bowed to the inevitable and chose not to seek re-election to the Dáil in Roscommon. That was directly down to the sometimes poisonous fallout from his controversial role in the Roscommon A&E closure saga.
Having sought a nomination to run for Fine Gael in a different constituency – Sligo-Leitrim – the then Senator Feighan’s prospects looked bleak. But just about a year ago (Gerry Reynolds having withdrawn his interest) Senator Feighan was added as a candidate. He went on to win a seat in Sligo-Leitrim last February – and on Wednesday, he got the call he’s been waiting for.
New Minister of State Feighan told the Roscommon People: “Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar rang me on Wednesday evening and said he had good news for me. I accepted the offer of a ministry with delight”. The portfolio is ‘Department of Health with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy’.
Reflecting on his topsy-turvy political journey, Deputy Feighan said: “Life is an unknown journey, with trials and tribulations. I stand over my record on Roscommon Hospital and am proud of the work we’ve done there”.
Deputy Feighan, who was speaking from Sligo, where he lives with his wife Elaine and their two children, added: “I’m delighted to get a second chance in politics”.