Waterford TD, Mary Butler has slammed the decision of new Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar not to appoint a full Cabinet Minister from the South East Region.

“Yesterday’s Government formation is yet another example of Fine Gael’s clear focus on Dublin and region, to the clear exclusion of everywhere else.“Seven full cabinet members, and two Super Juniors, from Dublin or Greater Dublin Area, is the net result of Leo’s first major decision.

“Waterford, Wexford, Carlow and Kilkenny have a combined population of over 500,000 people, and the best we get is a Super Junior Minister in the guise of Paul Kehoe from Wexford.

“The South East still has far too high unemployment rates, 3% above the national average.

“This won’t change until there is a strong voice from the South East sitting around the Cabinet table with a vote shouting  and standing up for the region.

“Yesterday’s reshuffle is nothing more than putting old wine in new bottles. Regions outside of Dublin have once have fallen down the pecking order in Leo’s eyes.

“Fianna Fáil will continue to stand up for the South East, and keep pushing for investment in services such as 24/7 Cardiac Care, support for a South East university and incentives for local businesses to grow and prosper,” concluded Butler.