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Irish Government appoints junior ministers

Former Cabinet member Josepha Madigan takes over responsibility for special education and inclusion within Ireland’s Education Department.

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Former culture minister Josepha Madigan was among junior ministers appointed by the Government on Wednesday evening (Brian Lawless/PA)

Former culture minister Josepha Madigan was among junior ministers appointed by the Government on Wednesday evening (Brian Lawless/PA)

Former culture minister Josepha Madigan was among junior ministers appointed by the Government on Wednesday evening (Brian Lawless/PA)

Former Cabinet member Josepha Madigan was among the junior ministers appointed by the Government on Wednesday evening.

She takes over responsibility for special education and inclusion within Ireland’s Education Department.

Fine Gael parliamentary party chairman Martin Heydon assumes a range of farming responsibilities at Agriculture.

Minister of State Dara Calleary will be assigned to the Department of Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, a Government statement said.

I look forward to working with my colleagues to progress our common goal of a fairer, more equal Ireland.Micheal Martin

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said: “This government reflects the shared future that each party has signed up for.

“We are ambitious in our plans and the appointment of the ministers of state reflects our priorities for the five years.

“The ministers of state will play a key role in the delivery of the Programme for Government and will ensure that no sector is left behind.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to progress our common goal of a fairer, more equal Ireland.”

The Taoiseach had been expected to address the geographical imbalance after the Government was criticised for not appointing one senior minister from a constituency in the west of Ireland.

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

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

Others appointed included:

– Thomas Byrne – Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (EU Affairs);

– Patrick O’Donovan – Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (OPW);

– Ossian Smyth – Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (Public Procurement and eGovernment);

– Jack Chambers – Department of Finance (Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance);

– Anne Rabbitte – Department of Children, Disability, Equality and Integration (Disability);

– Colm Brophy – Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora);

– Charlie McConalogue – Department of Justice and Equality (Law Reform);

– Joe O’Brien – Department of Rural and Community Development (Community Development and Charities);

– Peter Burke – Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government (Local Government and Planning);

– Malcolm Noonan – Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (Heritage and Electoral Reform).

– Robert Troy – Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Trade Promotion);

– Damien English – Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment (Employment and Retail Businesses);

– Mary Butler – Department of Health (Mental Health and Older People);

– Frank Feighan – Department of Health (Public Health, Well Being and National Drugs Strategy);

– Niall Collins – Department of Higher Education, Innovation and Science (Skills and Further Education).

The Government previously appointed Senator Pippa Hackett to be Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and deputy Hildegarde Naughton to be Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.

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.

PA