Taoiseach Micheál Martin has revealed the full line-up of junior ministers
THE new coalition government's line-up of junior ministers has been completed and Táoiseach Micheál Martin announced his full team tonight.
It has been a day of drama as politicians like Fianna Fáil's Jim O'Callaghan and Fine Gael's Joe McHugh refused to take a junior minister roles.
But Mr Martin has announced those who did take jobs saying they "bring a range of talent and ability to their Ministries and will act with determination and passion."
Here's who made the cut for the team assembled by Mr Martin, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and Minister Eamon Ryan:
Thomas Byrne (43), was widely expected to land a senior Cabinet post and is one of the most high-profile Fianna Fáil TDs to have lost out. A solicitor by profession, he's not shy about defending his party on the airwaves. He was first elected to the Dáil in 2007 but did a five year stint in the Seanad after Fianna Fáil’s 2011 meltdown.
Patrick O’Donovan (43), has been a Fine Gael TD for Limerick County since 2011. He was appointed a junior minister since 2016 moving to the Finance Department in June 2017. He has been given a prominent media role by Fine Gael. His appointment to the junior ranks is an attempt to address the failure to appoint a full minister for the Mid-West.
Dun Laoghaire TD Ossian Smyth (49) is an experienced Green Party public representative having been first elected as a councillor in 2014. Before becoming a TD he worked as a data analyst at St Vincent’s Hospital and has volunteered teaching computer coding to young people. He previously worked at Citigroup. Mr Smyth has been the Green Party’s spokesperson on Health.
Dublin West TD Jack Chambers (29) was the youngest TD in the Dáil when he was first elected in 2016 and he's now the youngest minister in Taoiseach Micheál Martin's team.
A strong performer on the last Dáil's justice committee, Mr Chambers won respect from politicians in Fine Gael and the Greens for his contribution to government formation talks.
Josepha Madigan (50), has been a Fine Gael TD for Dublin Rathdown since 2016, and was unusually for a first-time TD appointed Culture Minister in November 2018. Ms Madigan is a solicitor by training with expertise in mediation and family law. She was first elected as a councillor in 2014.
Martin Heydon (41), has been a Fine Gael TD for Kildare South since 2011. Deemed unlucky not to have made the junior ministerial ranks before this, he is a big vote-getter in Kildare. Since June 2016 he has been an effective chairman of the Fine Gael party managing many difficult internal debates.
Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte (46), believes “fire in the belly” is required to succeed in politics. The widowed mother-of-three has displayed no shortage of that since first winning election to the Dáil in 2016. She was disappointed not to get the Cabinet nod but a junior ministry is a consolation prize.
Dublin South-West TD Colm Brophy (54), is frequently sent out to bat for Fine Gael on the airwaves where he is seen as a capable and combative performer. First elected as a TD in 2016, Mr Brophy previously served on South Dublin County Council. He chaired the increasingly important Budgetary Oversight Committee in the last Dáil.
Donegal TD Charlie McConalogue (42) has been Fianna Fáil’s long-time agriculture spokesman, bringing his experience of working on his own family’s farm. He was first elected in 2011. Mr McConalogue was heavily involved in building Fianna Fáil’s partnership with the SDLP in the North which was announced last year.
The Dublin Fingal TD (43), was first elected to the role in last November’s by-election but he had to do it all again in February. Prior to his election as a TD he was most recently employed by the Immigrant Council of Ireland. He previously worked for Catholic charitable organisation Crosscare. Since becoming a TD he has been outspoken on racism as well as highlighting the need for public transport links in North Dublin.
A former Westmeath councillor, Peter Burke has been a TD since 2016. A chartered accountant and horse racing enthusiast, Mr Burke served on the last Dáil’s powerful Public Accounts Committee (PAC). He was one of the chief critics of spending promises made by Fianna Fáil before a coalition deal was struck with the rival party.
Malcolm Noonan, 54 was first elected to the Dáil for Carlow-Kilkenny in February having served 16 years on Kilkenny County Council. He unsuccessfully contested the 2015 by-election and the 2016 general election. A former mayor, he ran for the Green Party leadership against Eamon Ryan in 2011. Before politics, he was an activist with Friends of the Earth and he has an academic background in rural development.
Longford-Westmeath TD Robert Troy (38), has served as his party’s spokesman on transport and business in recent years. He was first elected as a TD in 2011 and has held his seat since. Last year his support of a ‘Yes’ vote in the referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment on abortion saw him refused communion at mass.
Damien English (42), was the youngest TD when first elected for Meath in 2002 against a trend of defeats for Fine Gael. He has represented Meath West since 2007. He has been a junior housing minister since May 2016. He has often been left defending the response to the housing crisis.
Mary Butler (53), a Waterford TD, has served as her party’s spokesperson for older people. First elected in 2016 her background is in retail. She ran a family grocery business in Portlaw for 17 years. She chaired the Business Committee during the last Dáil and was prominent in raising issues surrounding nursing home care even before the Covid-19 crisis.
Sligo-Leitrim TD Frank Feighan (57), was first elected to the Dáil in 2011 but lost his seat in Roscommon in 2016 amid the fallout from the Fine Gael government's decisions relating to the local hospital. Now in a new constituency, Mr Feighan was re-elected in February. He has often argued that Ireland should consider rejoining Britain's Commonwealth.
Niall Collins (47) was caught up in last year’s ‘votegate’ scandal after it was revealed he voted six times on behalf of party colleague Timmy Dooley. It led to him losing his job as Fianna Fáil’s foreign affairs spokesman. Limerick County TD Mr Collins is an honorary treasurer for the party and helped turn around its finances ahead of the last general election.
Dara Calleary was previously appointed as Government Chief Whip. He has been assigned additional responsibilities to also be a Minister of State with responsibility for sport and the Gaeltacht.
Green Party Senator Pippa Hackett is a 'super junior' minister at the Department of Agriculture while Fine Gael's Hildegarde Naughton is a 'super junior' minister at the Department of Transport.
Mr Calleary, Ms Hackett and Ms Naughton all have seats at Cabinet.