Profile: Heather Humphreys
HEATHER Humphreys was dumbfounded when she was appointed to Cabinet. She was having a coffee with Junior Agriculture Minister Tom Hayes, when she got the call to go over to the Taoiseach's office.
Ten minutes earlier, she was speculating with fellow backbenchers Damien English and Patrick O'Donovan about who might be included in the Cabinet. Her appointment was regarded as a masterstroke by the Taoiseach.
She covers the geography base as she comes from Cavan-Monaghan, the five-seat constituency where Fine Gael currently holds three seats, but which is being reduced to a four-seater at the next general election. She covers the gender base as Mr Kenny was under pressure to appoint more women to ministerial office. She is also regarded as very capable and widely respected within Fine Gael.
She is chairperson of the internal party committee on finance and is viewed as making valuable contributions to party meetings.
A member of the Presbyterian community from a border county, she will now be in charge of the events around the 1916 centenary. Already a member of the National Commemoration Committee, Ms Humphreys has been involved in the planning to date.
Elected for the first time in the 2011 general election, she lives in Aghabog, near Monaghan town, and her family is from the Cavan-Monaghan border area.