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Jonathan Hoare: Be careful what you wish for - Minister Calleary faces a baptism of fire

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Jonathan Hoare, former government Advisor in the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine

Jonathan Hoare, former government Advisor in the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine

Jonathan Hoare, former government Advisor in the Department of Agriculture, Food & the Marine

"I had hoped to lead a Department," said a disappointed Dara Calleary following his omission from the Cabinet just three weeks ago. By now the new Agriculture Minister will have a far greater appreciation for the scale of that ambition.

The complexity and diversity of the Department's activities will have been laid out for the new Minister in the 800-page 'briefing' document he will have received on his appointment.

Secretary general Brendan Gleeson will have taken the new Minister through the brief; line by line, division by division, issue by issue. This is an intense process whereby an immense amount of new information will need to be absorbed.