Taoiseach Leo Varadkar with the newly appointed Ministers of State
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has announced the Government’s appointments as Minister of State.
Speaking today the Taoiseach said:
We aim to be a government of purpose that gets things done. These appointments enhance the Government team and help us to drive forward the Programme for a Partnership Government and build a Republic of Opportunity. So each Minister of State has been assigned a specific task, and each appointment was made by matching skillsets and experience to roles.
It includes representatives from both Fine Gael and Independents to reflect the fact that this is a Partnership Government. Everyone in the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party will be expected to play a role in Government and rebuilding the Party. I’m looking forward to working with all my colleagues in the months and years ahead to bring about real improvements in people’s lives.
Ministers of State
· Helen McEntee has been appointed Minister for European Affairs. She will be working alongside both the Taoiseach and Minister for Foreign Affairs & Trade Simon Coveney on issues including Brexit.
Two Ministers of State have been appointed to support Paschal Donohoe in the Departments of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure & Reform. The two Ministers will work across both Departments to enhance the integration process:
· Patrick O'Donovan has been appointed Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for Public Procurement, Open Government and eGovernment.
· Michael D'Arcy has been appointed Minister of State at the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for Financial Services and Insurance.
Five new Ministers have been appointed. Aside from Michael D’Arcy, they include:
· Ciarán Cannon as Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade with special responsibility for the Diaspora and International Development.
· Jim Daly as Minister of State at the Department of Health with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People.
· Brendan Griffin as Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport with special responsibility for Tourism and Sport.
· John Paul Phelan as Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government with special responsibility for Local Government and Electoral Reform.
Other appointments, many including expanded briefs include the following:
· The Minister of State at the Department of Health, Catherine Byrne, has seen her responsibilities enhanced to include Health Promotion while retaining the National Drugs Strategy.
· Pat Breen will have special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection serving across the Department of Enterprise and Innovation, the Department of Employment and Social Protection, the Department of the Taoiseach, and the Department of Justice and Equality.
· The Minister of State at the Department of Rural and Community Development and the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment Sean Kyne retains responsibility for natural resources and will take on community affairs, and digital development.
· John Halligan is Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills with special responsibility for Training, Skills, Innovation, and his title now also acknowledges his ongoing work in Research and Development.
· Andrew Doyle is re-appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine with special responsibility for Food, Forestry and Horticulture, which is particularly important during the Brexit process.
· Damien English is re-appointed as Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government with special responsibility for Housing and Urban Development, as we tackle the ongoing issues in the housing market.
· Kevin Boxer Moran remains as Minister of State at the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works and Flood Relief, which continues to be of crucial importance to many parts of Ireland.
· David Stanton retains his position as Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with special responsibility for Equality, Immigration and Integration, three important areas both within Ireland and internationally.
These are in addition to the four Ministers of State who will attend Cabinet meetings and whose appointments were made last week:
· Deputy Joe McHugh, Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach with special responsibility as Government Chief Whip, and at the Department of Arts, Heritage, Regional, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs with special responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands,
· Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor, Minister of State at the Department of Education & Skills with special responsibility for Higher Education.
· Deputy Paul Kehoe, Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Defence with special responsibility for Defence.
· Deputy Finian McGrath, Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Justice & Equality and the Department of Health with special responsibility for Disability Issues.