Harty given chair of health committee
Clare TD Doctor Michael Harty has been appointed chairperson of the powerful health committee after securing the support of Fine Gael.
Dr Harty is believed to have been given the post in return for his decision to back Taoiseach Enda Kenny as Taoiseach.
Dr Harty has always said he would only back the Government on a case by case basis. But it's been accepted within government circles for weeks that his position as health chair was a given.
In a statement , Dr Harty described the appointment as a great honour. "Health is one of the greatest challenges facing our country at the present time. As a general practitioner, I am acutely aware of the difficulties encountered by our people as they try to grapple with the shortcomings of the health services. "
Meanwhile, Carlow/Kilkenny TD John Paul Phelan will chair the budget committee.
Among the others appointed were Brendan Griffin (Transport) and Pat Deering (Agriculture).