Newly-appointed British Prime Minister Liz Truss has named Chris Heaton-Harris as the country's next Northern Ireland Secretary.
Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney said he looked forward to working closely with him in the coming months.
"First job - a functioning executive for NI", he wrote on Twitter.
Congratulations to @chhcalling for his appointment as new Sec of State for Northern Ireland. I’ve known him since we were both members of the European Parliament & I look forward to working closely with him in the coming months.
First job - a functioning executive for NI. 🇮🇪🇬🇧
— Simon Coveney (@simoncoveney) September 6, 2022
Minister of State for Northern Ireland Conor Burns earlier said: "Chris is a good man and a friend. Look forward to supporting him in the chamber."
Congratulations @chhcalling on his appointment as SoS for Northern Ireland. Spent some of today making sure prep was in hand for @NIOgov Oral questions tomorrow morning. Chris is a good man and a friend. Look forward to supporting him in the chamber. pic.twitter.com/993XPhUHw8
— Conor Burns (@ConorBurnsUK) September 6, 2022
However others were less optimistic.
Campaigner Emma DeSouza tweeted that Northern Ireland should "brace", describing Mr Heaton-Harris as a "die-hard Brexiter".
Die-hard Brexiter Chris Heaton-Harris appointed Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
— Emma DeSouza (@EmmandJDeSouza) September 6, 2022
He was previously an under-Secretary of State at the UK's Department for Exiting the EU, from July 2018 to April 2019.
He also previously held roles in the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Transport.
He is also a former chair of the ERG - a hardline pro-Brexit European Research Group.
He was elected an MP back in May 2010.
— UK Prime Minister (@10DowningStreet) September 6, 2022
Speaking to Newstalk earlier, former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said Ms Truss' choice here was crucial.
"Who she puts in as Secretary of Northern Ireland is going to absolutely crucial because she and her senior people are going to be so busy on the Ukraine crisis and the energy crisis.
"Realistically, the Foreign Secretary will probably be caught up in Ukraine nearly permanently, so the Secretary for Northern Ireland becomes the crucial thing.
"Who she puts into that and maybe who is the number two up there could be very important as well", he said.
Other members of the new British cabinet have also been announced with Kwasi Kwarteng - formerly Business Secretary - confirmed as the new Chancellor of the Exchequer.
James Cleverly moves to foreign affairs, and Suella Braverman has been appointed as Home Secretary - replacing Priti Patel.
Brandon Lewis, a former Northern Ireland Secretary of State, has been moved to Justice.