MINSTER Simon Coveney has put the horse meat scandal to one side, to celebrate the birth of his new baby daughter.
Baby Annalise was delivered at Cork University Hospital and Simon and his wife Ruth took her home on Friday.
This is the couple’s third child.
They have two other daughters, Beth (3) and Jessica (2).
Beth was born in June 2009, a year after the couple were married, while Jessica was born just one day after Mr Coveney was re-elected to the Dail in Feburary 2011 after a marathon two day long election count.
Jessica will celebrate her second birthday at the end of the week.
The minister spent a couple of days at home with his family and his new daughter before travelling to Brussels on Sunday evening to attend a European Council meeting.
A spokeswoman said Mr Coveney was glad to be in the country for the birth, as he was aware he would be away for several days this week.
She added that both mum and baby were happy and well.
The 40-year-old minister took over his father’s Cork South Central seat following Hugh Coveney’s sudden death at the age of 63 in 1998.
He later became an MEP and then gave up his EU job in Brussels to concentrate on full time politics in Ireland.
Mr Coveney, who has a BSc in Agriculture and Land Management, was appointed Agriculture Minister in March 2011.