Andrew Doyle to remain Minister of State at Department of Agriculture

Andrew Doyle, TD, in Roundwood, Co Wicklow, where his family has been farming for five generations. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Andrew Doyle, TD, in Roundwood, Co Wicklow, where his family has been farming for five generations. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Philip Ryan and Niall O'Connor

TAOISEACH Leo Varadkar has again opted for a conservative reshuffle by promoting just five backbench TDs to the ranks of Minister of State.

The new Taoiseach has risked backlash from some of his loyal backers by failing to promote those who were outspoken supporters during his bid to become Fine Gael leader.

Meanwhile, a number of Simon Coveney's supporters are expected to be demoted by Mr Varadkar this afternoon when he announces his new junior ministers.

Outgoing European Affairs Minister Dara Murphy told that Mr Varadkar told him he had to “look after” those who supported him.

Wicklow's Andrew Doyle will also remain Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture.

The big winners today were Carlow-Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan who landed a junior ministry in local government and Wexford TD Michael D'Arcy who will take up minister of State portfolio in the Department of Finance. Cork South West TD Jim Daly was promoted to Minister of State with responsibility for older people and mental health. Meath East TD Helen McEntee, who previously held this position, is in line for a promotion.

Galway East TD Ciaran Cannon is the new Minister of State for the diaspora and international development.  Mr Varadkar will promote one more backbench TD but it is so far unclear who this will be. He has risked alienating backers who expected to be promoted - this includes John Deasy, Alan Farrell, Pat Deering, Fergus O'Dowd and Brendan Griffin.

It appears junior ministers who supported Mr Varadkar during the leadership campaign will retain their positions but most will get new portfolios.

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Limerick TD Patrick O'Donovan will leave the Department of Transport - where he regularly clashed with Cabinet Minister Shane Ross - and take up a new ministry in the Department of Finance.

Clare TD Pat Breen will remain a junior minister in the Department of Jobs with added responsibilities from the Department of the Taoiseach.

Meanwhile, the only female TD sacked by Leo Varadkar has said it is clear she was punished for backing his rival Simon Coveney.

Offaly TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy told that politics is a “numbers game”, adding: “There needs to be more female voices.”

Ms Corcoran Kennedy was dropped as Minister of State with responsibility for Health Promotion.

“He (Mr Varadkar) told me he needs to make room for others. I was very committed to the role of health and health promotion,” she said.

Online Editors