Mitchell O'Connor biggest loser in reshuffle
Former jobs minister Mary Mitchell O'Connor was the biggest loser in the new Taoiseach's Cabinet.
It emerged last night that Ms O'Connor was initially offered a super-junior minister position with responsibility for equality and law reform.
However, she expressed concerns about the portfolio, forcing Mr Varadkar into a rethink. The Dún Laoghaire TD, who is a former primary school principal, was then given the option of a role in higher education.
Fianna Fáil's education spokesman Thomas Byrne said the move was an "absolute scandal and an insult". He told Mr Varadkar: "You have demoted not just Mary Mitchell O'Connor but you have demoted higher education in this country.
Ms Mitchell O'Connor goes from a full senior ministry to become a 'super-junior' with responsibility for higher education. She will still sit at Cabinet, but can't vote.
Meanwhile, Pat Deering, of Carlow/Kilkenny, lost out, as did other strong supporters of Mr Varadkar in the south-east, Michael D'Arcy and John Deasy.