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Sunday 21 September 2014

Coveney says he's happy to stay in agriculture despite move rumours

Joe Leogue

Published 01/07/2014 | 02:30

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Simon Coveney
Simon Coveney

AGRICULTURE Minister Simon Coveney has indicated that he would like to remain in his current position amid speculation that he could be the next Health Minister.

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He said he has "no idea" whether he would be handed the Health portfolio, a position many see as a poisoned chalice due to regular budget overruns and frequent scandals.

Speaking at the opening of the Cork and Kerry Food Forum in Cork City Hall yesterday, Mr Coveney said the agriculture industry has grown significantly in his time in office and that he was happy to continue in his current position, despite the upcoming cabinet reshuffle.

Mr Coveney said: "There will be a lot of speculation this week about the cabinet reshuffle. I think it will be quite a comprehensive reshuffle, but that's a decision for the Taoiseach to make.

"I'm very happy to stay where I am. I'm passionate about the food sector. I think we've done a lot of good work in the last three years to build this sector.

"Food exports out of Ireland have grown nearly 40pc in that time. But if the Taoiseach wants me to do another job in Government I'm happy to do that."

Mr Coveney told the 400 food industry representatives at the forum that a joint initiative between Bord Bia, Local Enterprise Offices and SuperValu has been responsible for the creation of 300 jobs and had generated sales of €5m in the past year.

Irish Independent

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