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Government set to appoint 17 junior ministers

Taoiseach Micheal Martin is expected to address the geographical imbalance in his Cabinet with his appointment of junior ministers.

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The new Government is set to appoint 17 junior ministers (Julien Behal/PA)

The new Government is set to appoint 17 junior ministers (Julien Behal/PA)

The new Government is set to appoint 17 junior ministers (Julien Behal/PA)

The Government is expected to appoint junior ministers following a Cabinet meeting on Wednesday.

There are 17 junior minister roles available, with extra focus on the appointments following criticism of the gender and geographical spread of the Cabinet ministers.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin is expected to address the geographical imbalance after the Government was criticised for not appointing one senior minister in the west of Ireland.

While recently demoted ministers are usually given a junior minister role, there are more TDs seeking to be appointed than there are seats available so disappointment for some is inevitable.

Fine Gael and Fianna Fail have seven ministers each to appoint, while the Green Party has three.

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Jennifer Carroll MacNeill is the only female Fine Gael TD in contention for a role as a junior minister (Brian Lawless/PA)

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill is the only female Fine Gael TD in contention for a role as a junior minister (Brian Lawless/PA)

PA

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill is the only female Fine Gael TD in contention for a role as a junior minister (Brian Lawless/PA)

Former Fine Gael culture minister and education minister Joe McHugh may get a new role, while outgoing junior ministers John Paul Phelan, Paul Kehoe and Patrick O’Donovan are also in the running.

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New TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill is the only female Fine Gael TD in contention for a junior ministry.

Fianna Fail frontbenchers such as Jack Chambers, Jim O’Callaghan and Thomas Byrne will be looking for roles after they were overlooked for Cabinet positions.

Fianna Fail TDs Niamh Smyth, Anne Rabbitte and Robert Troy also hope geography will be on their side due to the lack of ministers from their regions.

Green Party TD Eamon Ryan may give a role to Nessae Hourigan, despite the fact that she campaigned against the party entering coalition with Fianna Fail and Fine Gael.

The 17 new junior ministers, combined with the 15 Cabinet ministers and three “super junior” ministers make this Government one of the largest in history.

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