Tag Archives: Michael Ring

Fine Gael Leader Leo Varadkar and former Senior Minister Michael Ring

“Any minister whose main focus is their own constituency is actually neglecting most of the country so ministers must have a national remit and that’s the way I would certainly expect all ministers to think.”

A statement from Leo Varadkar earlier this week apparently directed at Mayo Fine Gal TD Michael Ring, who lost his role as a Senior Minister under the new three-party government arrangement..


I don’t know what he meant by that comment but… if any other minister did more for Ireland and for rural Ireland….You ask the councillors around the country, you can ask the elected representatives, ask the communities what I’ve done for them…

“I will look after Mayo and I make no apologies for looking after Mayo. The people of Mayo gave me 15,000 votes and elected me on the first count, the only Fine Gael TD in the country that was elected on the first count.

Leo Varadkar got 8,000 votes and it took him five counts to get elected. Between himself and Paschal Donohoe, they got 12,000 votes and I beat the two of them put together. So I make no apology for representing the people.”

Michael Ring in conversation with Midwest Radio news editor Theresa O’Malley

Taking it well.

Ring For Taoiseach? Mayo TD Takes Major Swipe At His Party Leader  (Anthony Hennigan, Western People)


Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring TD at the launch of the COVID-19 Government Action Plan To Support The Community Response this morning in government buildings

That’s their job.

Earlier: Don’t Believe A Word

I’m No Expert, But…


From top: Yesterday’s Irish Mail on Sunday; Ryan Tubridy (left) interviewing Pat Spillane in June 2019; Michael Ring, Minister for Rural and Community Development; his request for details of Pat Spillane’s RTE pay.


In the Irish Mail on Sunday,

Journalist Ken Foxe, of RightToKnowIE, revealed  Minister Michael Ring used Freedom of Information to try and find out how much GAA analyst Pat Spillane had been paid by RTÉ.

The request came four days after Mr Spillane had criticised Mr Ring and the Fine Gael government on The Late Late Show.

Mr Spillane said Mr Ring was ‘handing out grants’ rather than regenerating rural Ireland

He told host Ryan Tubridy::

“Grants are great, but grants are short term, sticking-plaster solutions and they are political … throwing meat to the lions.

These projects are not about people … Rural development has to be people-centred and people-driven. The minister is getting very bad advice. They have to bring jobs to rural Ireland.”

Ken Foxe writes:

When I first tried to find out the identity of the TD who made the request, RTÉ refused to release it saying they considered that it constituted the “private papers” of the Oireachtas member. This is the exemption famously used to hide politicians’ expenses:

Interestingly, RTÉ said they had contacted the person in question to establish if they sought the records “as part of their work as a TD or as part of their work in an FOI’able body” e.g. a government department.

The TD said it was “sought as part of their role as a TD”

This was despite the fact that Mr Spillane worked directly for Minister Ring’s department. Mr Spillane was also in direct contact with Mr Ring in his role as rural ambassador.

Through RightToKnowIE, we appealed RTÉ’s decision and after internal review their decision was overturned

Going back to request itself, I asked Mr Ring about assertion this was done in his capacity as a TD, rather than in his capacity as a minister.

The “private papers” exemption could not have applied if request was made as a minister. His spokesman said he would not be commenting.

Notable that he also sought for the information to be “relayed … as a matter of urgency”.

He did not get what he was looking for however, as the salary/expenses and so on are considered “personal information” and the request was refused.


Michael Ring pic: Rollingnews

From top: Google Map from Westport to Turlough in Co Mayo; Google Streetview image of N5 between Castlebar and Turlough; Leo Varadkar with Minister for Rural & Community Development Michael Ring at yesterday’s announcement of a €240m Mayo road upgrade


Rural and Community Development Minister and Mayo TD Michael Ring confirmed that the Government will spend €240million on upgrading the N5 Westport to Turlough road in Co Mayo.

The upgrade is planned to include 20km of dual carriageway and a 2.5km link to the N59, while Mr Ring said it will be the largest ever Government investment in Mayo.

He also reportedly said people in the area have been waiting for the road project for 25 years.

Further to this…

Green Party’s Saoirse McHugh last night tweeted about the news, saying:

“This will take a journey of 20mins down to one of 15 mins.

What a phenomenal waste of money.

Who is this even for!?

Perhaps, instead of spending years ploughing up the countryside for a road nobody has ever mentioned wanting, we could start local energy projects?

Rural Ireland isn’t emptying out because of lack of roads.

Farmers can’t sustain themselves, markets and small shops are gone because of big supermarkets, there are no fish left and even if there were the piers are falling into total decay.

We need a proper vision for rural Ireland where small producers and processors can survive.

We need intervention in the housing market so people can find somewhere to live.

We need agricultural reform, fisheries reform, public transport, etc.

I’ve lived in Achill most of my life and have never ever heard anybody talk about needing a dual carriageway.

And all this in the middle of a CLIMATE AND BIODIVERSITY EMERGENCY.”

Minister Michael Ring dismisses suggestion €241m road project for Mayo is ‘parish pump’ politics ahead of an election (Independent.ie)


Top (from left): Journalist Ken Foxe, document he obtained under FOI, and Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring

Last Sunday.

Ken Foxe, in both The Sunday Times and the Irish Mail on Sunday reported that the Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring allocated almost €120,000 to a project – involving pedal-powered carriages on a disused railway line – in his constituency “despite warnings from civil servants it could set ‘problematic precedents'”.

Mr Foxe reported: “One official said the project appeared to have the least merit of four proposals that were seeking extra funding.”

He also wrote the Kiltimagh Velo project received the single largest funding allocation of any local authority project last year.

Further to this…

Yesterday evening…

Mr Ring spoke to Midwest Radio about the project and said he wouldn’t be apologising to Mr Foxe, the Irish Daily Mail [sic] or The Sunday Times for any decision he makes regarding funding allocations.

From the interview…

“First of all, I have to say, that I’m the minister of the department and I make the decisions, as minister. That was Ken Foxe and the Daily Mail and The Sunday Times. I didn’t see Ken Foxe reporting that I gave €2million to inner city Dublin before Christmas in relation to projects that need to be done there – particularly in disadvantaged areas.

“But when a few euros come to Mayo, they seem to have a major problem with it. Ken Foxe and the Daily Mail and The Sunday Times seem to have a problem with any funding coming into Mayo, so, in future now, do I have to correspond with Ken Foxe and anybody else when I’m putting funding into Mayo.

“The answer to that is no. I will make the decisions as I make the decisions…

“…I make decisions on the basis of the decisions that come before me and I have no problem making big decisions, that’s my job, as minister. I make decisions every single day.

I make decisions in relation to my department and I will continue to do that and I won’t be apologising to Ken Foxe, I won’t be apologising to the Daily Mail, and I won’t be apologising to The Sunday Times and I won’t be apologising to anybody in relation to any decisions of allocations of money I make in rural Ireland.”

Ring freewheels into ‘problematic’ Mayo funding row (Ken Foxe, The Sunday Times)

Joao Carvalho (right) died following a mixed martial arts fight in Dublin last Saturday 

Last night Michael Ring (acting tourism and sports minister) spoke to Joe Molloy of Newstalk’s Off The Ball programme in relation to the regulation or the lack thereof of mixed martial arts fighting events in Ireland.

It was a slog.

He saw it coming, he says.

Previously: Losing The Fight

Off The Ball (Newstalk Sport)

Michael Ring, junior mister for tourism, reacted to Gabriel Byrne’s comments on The Gathering on Newstalk’s Lunchtime show today.

Warning: May contain green jerseys.

Jonathan Healy: “Have you lost members of your own family to emigration? Do you have people, close to you, who are away?

Michael Ring: “Look it, I’ve had aunts and uncles, and my father. I came from a big family. My father, like many, many other Irish people out there. I remember my job on a Thursday. Jonathan, a lot of people will laugh at this, my job on a Thursday, when my father had to go to England, was to go down and get the wire from England, to bring the cheque up to my mother and she’d to go down and pay the local shop then and she’d have whatever was left then for the week. And sometimes that was never enough. But my father, like many, many more had to emigrate to England and like a lot more people had his English pension til he died. And I’ve aunts and uncles and family, and relatives are all over the world so they are.”

Healy “Just to finish, you’re selling this Gathering. You’re in London, you’re going off to sell it even more now I suspect. What do you say to the likes of Gabriel Byrne and Michael Cawley of Ryanair who had a cut yesterday, and indeed Terry Wogan. What do you say to those..I mean are they not pulling on the green jersey in your mind?”

Ring: “Well look it, I’m asking them to put the green jersey on. This is in everybody’s interest. It’s in everybody’s interest that we make this a success. It’s in everybody’s interest that we get people into the country. I want this to be a success. And I want to make sure that we can get badly wanted revenue into the country. That  we can get as many visitors as possible into the country, that will create the necessary employment that we need and we certainly need employment, we need revenue and we need everybody wearing the green jersey at this particular time in the country.”

Earlier: Jim Miley: The Man behind The Gathering

Gabriel Byrne On The Gathering