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Ministers' expertise often in politics, not their current portfolio

John Downing


Education Minister Norma Foley's reputation as a teacher is unlikely to be much help when it comes to schools reopening, writes John Downing

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Education Minister Norma Foley. Photo: Julien Behal

Education Minister Norma Foley. Photo: Julien Behal

Education Minister Norma Foley. Photo: Julien Behal

Jack Lynch once toyed with the idea of appointing Tony O'Reilly, the rugby legend turned business guru, as Ireland's Minister for Agriculture.

It was after the then-Taoiseach won the 1969 general election and was at last his own man, able to pick his own government team instead of the one he inherited from his predecessor, Seán Lemass, in 1966. O'Reilly had been boss of the Irish Sugar Company and its subsidiary, Erin Foods, and previously been head of the Irish Dairy Board where he was credited with the launch of Kerrygold butter.


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