Seven former TDs become spokespeople as Labour unveils new frontbench

Each serving TD will also cover more than one portfolio


Brendan Howlin announces party's new spokespeople outside the Department of Jobs in Dublin | Image:

Labour leader Brendan Howlin has announced the party’s new lineup of spokespeople, bringing seven former TDs back into the fold.  

Each of the seven deputies re-elected in February has been appointed to a frontbench position. 

Mr Howlin said Labour's 50 councillors will also “share in the leadership” by selecting their own policy area of priority.

Former party leader Joan Burton, who resigned her position last month, has been given responsibility for finance, education and arts.

Ex-deputy leader Alan Kelly is the new spokesperson on health and jobs, while former education minister Jan O’Sullivan is taking on housing.

Mr Howlin, who was minister for public expenditure in the last government, is meanwhile in charge of justice.

Former TDs Joe Costello, Ciarán Lynch, Kathleen Lynch, Michael McNamara, Emmet Stagg, Joanna Tuffy and Alex White have also been called up as spokespeople.

The full team:


Brendan Howlin

  • Labour Party leader
  • Spokesperson on justice and Northern Ireland

Joan Burton

  • Spokesperson on arts
  • Spokesperson on education and skills
  • Spokesperson on finance

Alan Kelly

  • Spokesperson on health
  • Spokesperson on jobs, enterprise and innovation

Jan O’Sullivan

  • Spokesperson on children and youth affairs
  • Spokesperson on housing, planning and local government

Willie Penrose

  • Spokesperson on agriculture, food and the marine, rural affairs
  • Spokesperson on social protection

Brendan Ryan

  • Party whip
  • Spokesperson on defence
  • Spokesperson on transport, tourism and sport

Sean Sherlock

  • Spokesperson on communications, climate change and natural resources
  • Spokesperson on public expenditure and reform


Ivana Bacik

  • Seanad group leader
  • Spokesperson on foreign affairs and development

Kevin Humphreys

  • Seanad whip
  • Spokesperson on Dublin

Denis Landy

  • Spokesperson on local government reform
  • Spokesperson on regional development

Gerald Nash

  • Spokesperson on equality
  • Spokesperson on labour affairs and workers' rights

Aodhán Ó Ríordáin

  • Spokesperson on environment and sustainable development
  • Spokesperson on Gaeltacht affairs


Joe Costello 

  • Spokesperson on urban regeneration

Ciarán Lynch

  • Spokesperson on affordable housing
  • Spokesperson on the retail sector

Kathleen Lynch 

  • Spokesperson on mental health
  • Spokesperson on disability

Michael McNamara 

  • Spokesperson on international tax justice

Emmet Stagg

  • Spokesperson on Older People

Joanna Tuffy

  • Spokesperson on lifelong learning

Alex White

  • Spokesperson on constitutional matters