Sunday 25 September 2016

70 days later - Your new Government ministers revealed

Kevin Doyle and Niall O'Connor

Published 06/05/2016 | 18:14

The new cabinet
The new cabinet
Enda Kenny preparing to lead his new cabinet into the Dail chamber
The new cabinet waiting to enter the Dail chamber

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has made radical changes to his Cabinet, which include the promotion of Simon Harris to the position of Minister for Health.

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Three Fine Gael backbench TDs, Michael Creed (Agriculture), Mary Mitchell O’Connor (Jobs and Enterprise) and Regina Doherty (Chief Whip) have been appointed to the Cabinet for the first time.

Leo Varadkar is to move from Health to Social Protection.

A source close to the Minister Varadkar said he was “over the moon”.

They insisted it was not a demotion, adding that Social Protection has a huge budget and Fine Gael hasn’t held the portfolio for three decades.

Simon Coveney is the new Housing Minister. Former Jobs Minister Richard Bruton is being reshuffled to the Department of Education and Skills. And Paschal Donohoe is leaving for the Department of Public Expenditure.

Frances Fitzgerald is the new Tánaiste and will remain in the Department of Justice, Michael Noonan stays on as Finance Minister and Charlie Flanagan remains Foreign Affairs Minister.

Heather Humphreys is the new Minister for Regional Development and Rural Affairs.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny receiving the seal of office (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)
Taoiseach Enda Kenny receiving the seal of office (Photo: Kyran O'Brien)

Paul Kehoe, who previously served as Chief Whip, takes up a minister for State role at the Department of An Taoiseach.

There are also significant jobs being handed to Independent TDs who agreed to back Enda Kenny.

Shane Ross is the new Transport and Sports Minister, Denis Naughten takes over at the Department of Communications and Katherine Zappone is the new Children’s Minister.

Attorney General Máire Whelan, who was a Labour Party appointee in the last Government, is being reappointed.

Speaking in the Dáil, Mr Kenny says the new Government will be publishing a plan for the first 100 days shortly.

The Dáil will not sit next week as ministers get accustomed to their brief.

The List:

  • Frances Fitzgerald - Tanaiste, Department of Justice and Equality
  • Michael Noonan - Department of Finance
  • Simon Harris - Department of Health
  • Leo Varadkar - Department of Social Protection
  • Mary Mitchell O'Connor - Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
  • Michael Creed - Department of Agriculture
  • Simon Coveney - Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government
  • Shane Ross - Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
  • Paul Kehoe - Department of Defence
  • Heather Humphreys - Department of Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht
  • Dennis Naughten - Department of Communications, Climate and Natural Resources
  • Katherine Zappone - Department of Children and Youth Affairs
  • Richard Bruton - Department of Education and Skills
  • Charlie Flanagan - Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • Paschal Donohoe - Minister for Expenditure and Reform
  • Attorney General -Maire Whelan

Speaking after the Taoiseach vote today, Mr Kenny said the engagements that had taken place over the last few weeks showed there are a significant number of deputies in the Dail who want to make the current political figurationwork.

He said he will take the "constructive comments" from the Opposition as he seeks to implement his programme for government

Mr Kenny promised a “comprehensive reform” of the Oireachtas during his second term of office.

He said every member of the Dail will have an opportunity to play a constructive role in the work of the Oireachtas.

He said "at the heart" of the programme for government is a realisation of the potential of all the people of Ireland.

And he said “good politics” will realise that potential.

The Taoiseach travelled to Áras an Uachtaráin this afternoon where he received his Seal of Office.

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