Thursday 22 August 2019

The new cabinet

The new Ministers line up before President Michael D Higgins and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE
The new Ministers line up before President Michael D Higgins and the Taoiseach Enda Kenny Photo: MAXWELLPHOTOGRAPHY.IE Newsdesk

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Age: 65. Constituency: Mayo. First Elected: November 1975 in by-election caused by his father's death. Family: Married to Fionnuala O'Kelly. Two sons and one daughter. Makes history as the first Fine Gael leader elected Taoiseach for a second consecutive term.

Tanaiste and Justice and Equality

Frances Fitzgerald, Age: 65

Constituency: Dublin Mid-West

First Elected: 1992, lost in 2002; after a Seanad term returned to Dáil in 2011.

Family: Married to Michael Fitzgerald. Three sons

Previously: Children and Youth Affairs Minister, Justice Minister

The Dublin Mid-West TD is promoted to Tánaiste and will remain at Justice.


Michael Noonan, Age: 72

Constituency: Limerick City

First Elected: 1981

Family: Widower. His wife, Florence Knightly, died in 2012. Threes sons and two daughters

Previous positions: Justice, Industry, Health and Energy Minister.

He had his best years in Dáil Éireann during the last term after his promotion as Finance Minister.

Social Protection

Leo Varadkar, Age: 36

Constituency: Dublin-West

First Elected: 2007

Family: Single

Previous notable positions: Health, Transport, Tourism and Sports Minister.

The qualified medical doctor gained a reputation for speaking his mind which has proven popular in his Dublin-West constituency. Mr Varadkar came out as gay during the same-sex marriage referendum last year.

Public Expenditure and Reform

Paschal Donohoe, Age: 41

Constituency: Dublin Central

First Elected: 2011

Family: Married to Justine Donohoe. Two children

Previous notable positions: Transport Minister, Junior Minister European affairs

The Dublin-Central TD rose through the ranks in his first term. He was appointed to Cabinet as Transport Minister in the 2014 reshuffle.

Children and Youth Affairs

Katherine Zappone, Age: 63

Constituency: Dublin-South West

First Elected: 2016

Family: Married to Dr Ann Louise Gilligan.

Previous notable positions: Senator and college lecturer.

Katherine Zappone has become a minister just 10 weeks after first entering the Dáil. She previously was a Taoiseach’s nominee to the Seanad and campaigned on women’s and same-sex marriage rights.

Housing, Planning and Local Government

Simon Coveney, Age: 43

Constituency: Cork South-Central

First Elected: 1998

Family: Married to Ruth Furney, Three daughters

Previous notable positions: Agriculture and Defence Minister

The Cork Cabinet Minister took the seat of his father in a by-election in 1998 and has since become a senior minister. Tipped by some as a future party leader.

Education and Skills

Richard Bruton, Age: 63

Constituency: Dublin North-Central

First Elected: 1982

Family: Susan Meehan. Two sons and two daughters.

Previous notable positions: Jobs and Enterprise Minister

He led a failed heave against Enda Kenny’s leadership in June 2010. This deprived him of the Finance Minister’s job but he has held on well.

Transport, Tourism and Sport

Shane Ross, Age: 66

Constituency: Dublin-Rathdown

First Elected: 2011

Family: Married to Ruth Buchanan. Two children.

Previous notable positions: Senator, financial journalist and stockbroker.

The Independent Alliance’s Shane Ross has been one of the longest serving senators and was former business editor of the ‘Sunday Independent’ and regular columnist for that paper.

Communications, Climate Change and Natural Resources

Denis Naughten, Age: 42

Constituency: Roscommon-Galway

First Elected: 1997

Family: Married to Mary Tiernan. Two sons and one daughter.

Previous notable positions: Fine Gael spokesman on agriculture.

The former Fine Gael TD rejoins the party at Cabinet level having lost the whip over a vote to close Roscommon County Hospital.


Simon Harris, Age: 29

Constituency: Wicklow

First Elected: 2011

Family: Single

Previous notable positions: Junior Minister for Finance responsible for Office of Public Works. One of the party’s rising stars, he became a junior minister in July 2014. He was elected to Wicklow County Council with a huge vote in 2009. Holds a BA in journalism.

Arts, Rural Affairs and Regional Development

Heather Humphreys, Age: Not given.

Constituency: Cavan-Monaghan

First Elected: 2011

Family: Married to Eric Humphreys. Two daughters

Previous notable positions: Minister for Arts

The Cavan-Monaghan TD was a manager in Cootehill Credit Union before entering Leinster House where she took a senior ministry in July 2014. Was subject to controversy over board appointments.

Government Chief Whip

Regina Doherty, Age: 45

Constituency: Meath East

First Elected: 2011

Family: Declan Doherty. Two sons and two daughters

Previous notable positions: Member of health and finance committees.

Ms Doherty, a former sales representative, has been in line for senior position in the party.

Agriculture, Food and Marine

Michael Creed, Age: 52

Constituency: Cork North-West

First elected in 1989, lost in 2002, but re-elected in 2007.

Family: Married to Sinead. Two sons one daughter.

First elected to Cork County Council in 1987. Was friendly with Enda Kenny who was extremely annoyed by his participation in June 2010 botched heave against him. This is his first promotion since then.

Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Mary Mitchell O’Connor

Constituency: Dún Laoghaire

First Elected: 2011

Family: Divorced. Two sons.

The former principal teacher was a Progressive Democrat councillor in Dún Laoghaire who moved to Fine Gael after the PDs disbanded. This is a big promotion which is a popular decision with Leinster House colleagues across all parties.

Foreign Affairs and Trade

Charlie Flanagan, Age: 59

Constituency: Laois

First Elected: 1987. Lost his seat in 2002 but regained it in 2007.

Family: Married to Mary McCormack. Two daughters.

One of Fine Gael’s most experienced politicians. Appointed to his current job in July 2014 reshuffle. Impressed on Northern Ireland.

'Super Junior' Minister Responsible for Disability Issues

Finian McGrath, Age: 63

First elected in 2002.

Constituency: Dublin Bay North

As a super junior minister he will attend Cabinet but cannot vote. The former primary school principal was first elected to Dublin City Council in 1999. He submerged differences with Shane Ross to join the Independent Alliance.

Junior Defence Minister

Paul Kehoe, Age: 43

Constituency: Wexford

Family: Married to Brigid O’Connor. A son and a daughter.

First Elected: 2002

Was an effective defender of Kenny in 2010 heave. Appointed Government Chief Whip in 2011. He has been appointed to serve at both Departments of Taoiseach and Defence and will attend Cabinet.

Attorney General

Máire Whelan, Age: 54

Appointed government lawyer at Labour’s behest in March 2011.

A native of Galway, she is a senior counsel.

Irish Independent

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