Ministers begin new roles as Taoiseach makes recovery ‘absolute priority’

Micheál Martin is facing criticism for failing to appoint a more regionally balanced Cabinet of ...
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

09.02 28 Jun 2020

Share this article

Ministers begin new roles as T...

Ministers begin new roles as Taoiseach makes recovery ‘absolute priority’

Michael Staines
Michael Staines

09.02 28 Jun 2020

Share this article

Micheál Martin is facing criticism for failing to appoint a more regionally balanced Cabinet of ministers.

The 15 newly appointed Cabinet members received their seals of office at their first meeting last night.

Seven of the new ministers are from just three constituencies and there is no representation from Connacht, the south east or the north west.


Nine of them are from Dublin or the neighbouring counties of Meath and Wicklow, while three are from Cork:

  • Taoiseach: Micheál Martin (FF)
  • Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment: Leo Varadkar (FG)
  • Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence: Simon Coveney (FG)
  • Minister for Finance: Paschal Donohoe (FG)
  • Minister for Justice: Helen McEntee (FG)
  • Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform: Michael McGrath (FF)
  • Minister for Health: Stephen Donnelly (FF)
  • Minister for Higher Education, Innovation and Science: Simon Harris (FG)
  • Minister for Social Protection, Community and Rural Development, and the Islands: Heather Humphreys (FG)
  • Minister for Education: Norma Foley (FF)
  • Minister for Agriculture and Marine: Barry Cowen (FF)
  • Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage: Darragh O'Brien (FF)
  • Minister for Climate Action, Communications Networks and Transport: Eamon Ryan (Greens)
  • Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sports and the Gaeltacht: Catherine Martin (Greens)
  • Minister for Children, Disability, Equality and Integration: Roderic O'Gorman (Greens)
  • Attorney General: Paul Gallagher (FF)
  • Chief Whip: Dara Calleary (FF)

Fine Gael’s Hildegarde Naughten and Green Party Senator Pippa Hackett will also be present at the Cabinet table as super junior ministers.

Cabinet ministers The new Cabinet. Image: Merrion Street/Twitter

Speaking at the special Dáil sitting the Convention Centre in Dublin yesterday Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the new Government’s ‘absolute priority’ will be shaping a fair and inclusive recovery from COVID-19.

“Decisive and rapid action on recovery; immediate and ongoing work to address the central challenges of housing, health, education, Brexit and climate change and a positive and outward looking engagement with Europe and the international community – these are the principles which will underpin our work,” he said.

Cabinet The Tánaiste Leo Varadkar arrives at the Convention centre in Dublin, 27-06-2020. Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews

Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the coalition marks a new departure in Irish politics.

“Today we broke with tradition by electing a new Taoiseach and government in this centre rather than in Leinster House,” he said.

“We found a new way of doing things without sacrificing any of the things that really matter.

“So, let this symbolise the mission of this new government, putting aside the division of the past and finding new ways of doing things.

“A new approach that is in the best interests of our country. A break with the past for the dream of a better future.”

Cabinet The Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan outside the Convention Centre in Dublin where Dáil has been sitting today, 27-06-2020. Image: Niall Carson/PA Wire/PA Images

Minister for Climate Action Eamon Ryan said the new Government’s approach should reflect the Pride celebrations taking place this weekend.

“On a weekend when the Pride Parade would have gone along the quays here, people in Dublin will know it as an incredible occasion that gives you pride in your country,” he said.

“We should be a Government that adopts that in our approach. Welcoming diversity, being open, being creative, doing whatever we can to get this country out of a deep recession using lessons from the past but facing the future in a way that serves our country with pride.”

Attention will now turn to the appointment of junior ministers as the coalition enters its first full day in power.

The Taoiseach is set to appoint 20 of them in the coming days.

The Labour leader Alan Kelly has warned that the number is too high when money is tight.

He said the Irish people will not appreciate “such lavish and indulgent behaviour” as the country faces a difficult recession.

Main image: President Higgins presents new ministers with their seals of office. Picture: Maxwells

Share this article

Read more about

Cabine Cabinet Eamon Ryan Fianna Fáil Fine Gael Micheál Martin Leo Varadkar The Green Party

Most Popular