Home News New Government cabinet announced – but no Laois involvement

New Government cabinet announced – but no Laois involvement

Taoiseach Micheal Martin has unveiled his new Government cabinet, an historical appointment that sees six ministerial positions for Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael and three for the Green Party.

There is no place, however, for Laois Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan, bringing to an end his six-year spell as a senior Government minister.

Deputy Flanagan has been Minister for Justice and Equality since June 2017 having previously spent three years as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade and prior to that a very brief spell as Minister for Children and Youth Affairs.

Eoghan Murphy, Josepha Madigan, Richard Bruton and Joe McHugh are among the other FG outgoing ministers not to be retained.

Flanagan is succeeded in the Justice portfolio by his party colleague Helen McEntee from Meath.

There is also no place at the cabinet table for Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming, one of the party’s longest-serving members of the Dáil.

However, Barry Cowen’s appointment as Minister for Agriculture and one of Fianna Fáil’s six ministers means that the constituency will have a voice at cabinet.

And it’s believed that Green Party Senator Pippa Hackett from Geashill is to get one of the ‘super junior’ minister roles with responsibility for Land Use and Biodiversity in the Department of Agriculture.

Though not unprecedented it is unusual for a Senator to get such a role. She will sit at cabinet but won’t have a vote.

As well as Martin, Michael McGrath (Finance), Barry Cowen (Agriculture), Darragh O’Brien (Housing), Norma Foley (Education) and Stephen Donnelly (Health) make up Fianna Fáil’s front bench. Deputy Leader Dara Calleary has to be content with the Chief Whip’s job and Fianna Fáil’s ‘super junior’ ministry.

Donnelly takes over the Health Minister’s role from his Wicklow constituency colleague Simon Harris, who moves to a new role in Higher Education, Innovation and Research.

The new Government comes after Micheal Martin was earlier elected Taoiseach by 93 votes to 63, following the support of his Fianna Fáil party, Fine Gael, the Greens and nine independent TDs.

The full cabinet is as follows:

  • Taoiseach – Micheal Martin (Fianna Fáil)
  • Tanáiste – Leo Varadkar (Fine Gael)
  • Foreign Affairs – Simon Coveney (Fine Gael)
  • Health – Stephen Donnelly (Fianna Fáil)
  • Finance – Paschal Donohoe (Fine Gael)
  • Public Expenditure and Reform – Michael McGrath (Fianna Fáil)
  • Justice – Helen McEntee (Fine Gael) 
  • Higher Education, Innovation and Research – Simon Harris (Fine Gael)
  • Housing – Darragh O’Brien (Fianna Fáil)
  • Social Protection – Heather Humphreys (Fine Gael)
  • Education – Norma Foley (Fianna Fáil)
  • Agriculture – Barry Cowen (Fianna Fáil)
  • Transport, Climate Action and the Environment – Eamon Ryan (Green Party)
  • Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht – Catherine Martin (Green Party)
  • Children and Disability – Roderic O’Gorman (Green Party)
  • Chief Whip – Dara Calleary (Fianna Fáil)

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Steven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. Husband of Emily, father of William, Lillian and John, he's happiest when he's telling stories