Kenny sacrifices big names in FG Cabinet carve-up
Varadkar and Coveney neutralised as Kenny promotes Fitzgerald, Donohoe
Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday neutralised the threat of the two favourites to replace him as Fine Gael leader.
In the new Cabinet shake-up, Leo Varadkar was sidelined into social welfare and Simon Coveney left to sort out water charges and the housing crisis.
But the Taoiseach promoted their rivals in the Fine Gael succession stakes. Frances Fitzgerald was made Tánaiste and stays as Justice Minister. And Paschal Donohoe became Public Expenditure Minister; in a trial run to replace Michael Noonan as Finance Minister.
However, Mr Coveney was made Minister for Housing and Environment and Mr Varadkar went to Social Protection.
New Fine Gael Cabinet ministers included Simon Harris into Health, Michael Creed in Agriculture and Mary Mitchell-O'Connor into Jobs.
Three Independent TDs were also made full Cabinet ministers: Shane Ross in Transport, Denis Naughten in Communications and Katherine Zappone in Children. Finian McGrath is Super Junior Minister for Disabilities.
Mr Kenny became Taoiseach after securing the support of nine Independents 70 days after the election.