A look at the political career of Ireland's newly appointed European Commissioner Ray MacSharry.

A rise through the ranks of Fianna Fáil saw Ray MacSharry become Junior Minister of State at the Department of Finance, which gave him early experience in Europe where he became President of the Budget Council of the European Community (EC).

In 1979 he took the greatest gamble of his political life by supporting and nominating Charles Haughey for the leadership of Fianna Fáil, despite being George Colley's second in command. When Haughey became leader, MacSharry was rewarded with the position as Minister for Agriculture. Again, this portfolio took him regularly to Europe until the 1981 general election. 

With Fianna Fáil back in government again in 1982, Ray MacSharry became Tánaiste and Minister for Finance. He stood by Charles Haughey during the heaves against his leadership although their relationship did not always run smoothly.  

The coalition government's revelations about telephone bugging and taping rubbed off on McSharry's reputation. He resigned from the front bench and disillusioned with Dáil politics, he fought and won a seat in the European Parliament.

In 1987, he made a political comeback in the Dáil when he was appointed Minister for Finance in the new Haughey led government. In this position, he implemented huge spending cuts and became known as 'Mac The Knife'. His loyalty to Haughey was rewarded yet again as he has been appointed European Commissioner.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 16 November 1988. The reporter is Caroline Erskine.