FG's Harris promoted to a junior ministry
Deputy Simon Harris was promoted from the back benches yesterday to a Junior Ministry in the Finance department by Taoiseach Enda Kenny.
He said last month that he knew nothing other than any ongoing newspaper speculation of plans for a prospective junior ministry following his close campaign in the European Election for Ireland South.
Any promotion was entirely 'in the gift of the Taoiseach' as Deputy Harris said at the time, and that gift turned out to be 'Minister of State at the Departments of Finance PER and Taoiseach with Special Responsibility for the OPW, Public Procurement, and International Banking (including IFSC).'
This news came as part of the overall reshuffle in the second rung of ministers yesterday, with the official announcement made during the afternoon.
While it was always thought to be highly likely that Harris would be in line for a Junior Ministry, the Finance job is considered one of the most prestigious in the portfolio.
While Deputy Harris couldn't be reached by phone at the time of going to press yesterday, he indicated last month that such a position would certainly be very welcome.
Harris replaces his outgoing Fine Gael party colleague Brian Hayes, who is now MEP for Dublin following June's election.
The career of the 27-year-old Greystones man has enjoyed a meteoric rise since his election to Wicklow County Council and Greystones Town Council five years ago, in that time ascending first to TD in 2011 and this week Minister of State.
While he didn't end up winning a seat in Europe this year, he put up a fight and came close, in the end satisfied to remain in the Dáil.