Thursday 27 July 2017

Revealed: Varadkar announces his Cabinet line-up

Leo Varadkar surrounded by his political supporters at the Mansion House in Dublin during the Fine Gael leadership contest. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins
Leo Varadkar surrounded by his political supporters at the Mansion House in Dublin during the Fine Gael leadership contest. Photo: Gareth Chaney/ Collins
Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar’s Cabinet has just three new faces but includes a series of departmental changes.

In the biggest switches leadership rival Simon Coveney is moving to the Department of Foreign Affairs while Charlie Flanagan is to take over the embattled Department of Justice.

Mayo TD Michael Ring and Dublin Bay South TD Eoghan Murphy have been promoted from the junior ranks to Minister for Rural Affairs and Minister for Housing respectively.

Donegal TD Joe McHugh is the new Government Chief Whip and will also be Minister for the Gaeltacht.

Regina Doherty, the current chief whip,  is to become the new Minister for Social Protection, taking over from Mr Varadkar.

Frances Fitzgerald is to remain as Tánaiste and will move to the Department of Jobs and Enterprise, while Paschal Donohoe is to become Finance Minister.

President Michael Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Credit: Steve Humphries
President Michael Higgins and Taoiseach Leo Varadkar Credit: Steve Humphries

Simon Harris has been reappointed as Health Minister, despite being the only Cabinet member to back Mr Coveney in the leadership battle.

Significantly Mr Varadkar only demoted one minister, Mary Mitchell O’Connor, who is likely to become a super junior minister with responsibility for higher education. This means she can sit at the Cabinet table but no longer has voting rights.

Other junior minister who will sit at Cabinet are Paul Kehoe (Defence) and Finian McGrath (Disabilities).

Among the ministers staying in their current portfolios are Michael Creed (Agriculture), Richard Bruton (Education), Shane Ross (Transport), Katherine Zappone (Children) and Denis Naughten (Communications, Climate Change and Environment).

The Cabinet list is:

Taoiseach – Leo Varadkar

Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise & Innovation – Frances Fitzgerald

Minister for Finance and Department of Public Expenditure & Reform – Paschal Donohoe

Minister for Health – Simon Harris

Minister for Justice & Equality – Charlie Flanagan

Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine – Michael Creed

Minister for Education & Skills – Richard Bruton

Minister for Employment & Social Protection – Regina Doherty

Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade – Simon Coveney

Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government – Eoghan Murphy

Minister for Community & Rural Affairs – Michael Ring

Minister for Arts and Culture – Heather Humphreys

Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport – Shane Ross

Minister for Children & Youth Affairs – Katherine Zappone

Minister for Communications, Climate Action & Environment – Denis Naughten

Chief Whip & Minister  of State at the Department of Culture with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands – Joe McHugh

 

Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Defence with special responsibility for Defence - Paul Kehoe

Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Justice & Equality, and the Department of Health with special responsibility for Disability Issues - Finian McGrath

Minister of State at the Department of Education with special responsibility for Higher Education - Mary Mitchell O'Connor

 

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