The Mayo Deputy, Enda Kenny, has accused the Fine Gael leadership of sending out a very dangerous message. He made the comments after it was revealed that he had been dropped from the party's front bench by the new leader, Michael Noonan. Mr Kenny said that the message is that one should not contest an open and democratic leadership contest. Mr Kenny, who received 28 votes in the party's leadership election, was one of seven available members of the old front bench who have been side-lined by the new party leader, Michael Noonan, who announced his new line-up this afternoon.

The main appointments include Jim Mitchell as deputy leader and Finance spokesman, Alan Dukes as Agriculture, Marine and Natural Resources spokesman, and Jim O'Keeffe as Foreign Affairs spokesman. Jim Higgins has been appointed Public Enterprise and Tourism spokesman, Charles Flanagan is now Enterprise, Trade, Employment and Local development spokesman, Gay Mitchell is Health spokesman and Alan Shatter is Justice and Security spokesman. Other front bench portfolios went to Frances Fitzgerald, Dinny McGinley, Brian Hayes, Deirdre Clune, Olivia Mitchell and Gerry Reynolds. The new Chief Whip is Paul Bradford.