Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Rising star Simon Harris promoted

Fine Gael's Simon Harris is one of the youngest members of the Dail

One of the youngest members of the Dail has been appointed to the most high profile role in the junior ministerial ranks.

Fine Gael's Simon Harris, 28, takes up the prestigious Department of Finance job as 15 TDs were appointed to the second rung of government.

The Wicklow TD, who unsuccessfully stood for a European seat in the recent elections, replaces Brian Hayes, who was elected to Brussels.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny's reshuffle has also confirmed former minister Jimmy Deenihan will be responsible for the diaspora in the departments of the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs.

Two of the big losers are Fergus O'Dowd and Ciaran Cannon, who have been demoted alongside John Perry and Labour veteran Joe Costello.

Fine Gael take nine positions in the junior ranks while Labour takes six with only two women appointed.

The full list of junior ministers is as follows:

:: Paul Kehoe, Government chief whip and responsibility for defence.

:: Simon Harris, minister of State at the departments of Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, public procurement, and international banking.

:: Dara Murphy, junior minister for European affairs and data protection.

:: Damien English, responsible skills, research and innovation

:: Tom Hayes, in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Marine responsible for food, forestry, horticulture and food safety.

:: Joe McHugh takes charge of responsibility for Gaeltacht affairs and natural resources.

:: Michael Ring remains in the junior role responsible for tourism and sport.

:: Paudie Coffey enters the ranks and takes responsibility for housing, planning and co-ordination of the construction 2020 strategy to ease homelessness and the housing crisis.

:: Jimmy Deenihan will work under the Taoiseach and Foreign Affairs Minister Charlie Flanagan on diaspora issues.

:: Ged Nash is confirmed in the super-junior role which sits at Cabinet and takes charge of issues relating to small business and collective bargaining.

:: Kathleen Lynch remains in the Department of Health overseeing primary care, mental health and disability.

:: Kevin Humphreys takes responsibility for activation through the Department of Social Protection.

:: Ann Phelan will take on the role of rural economic development and rural transport.

:: Aodhan O'Riordain will be responsible for equality, new communities and culture.

:: Sean Sherlock moves in the Department of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for overseas aid, trade promotion and north-south cooperation.

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