13 May 2008

Five new Junior Ministers appointed

This afternoon Taoiseach Brian Cowen has appointed five new faces to his junior ministerial team and dismissed three previous Ministers of State.

The newcomers to ministerial responsibility are:
  • John Curran (Dublin Mid-West) for Drug Policy,
  • Michael Finneran (Roscommon South & Leitrim) for Housing,
  • Martin Mansergh (Tipperary South) for the Office of Public Works,
  • John Moloney (Laois-Offaly) for Equality and Disability,
  • Peter Power (Limerick East) for Overseas Aid.
The three departees from the administration are:
  • Michael Ahern (Cork East),
  • John Browne (Wexford),
  • Pat "the Cope" Gallagher (Donegal South-West).
Last week Barry Andrews (Dún Laoghaire) was promoted to Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, with a seat at the cabinet table, as was Chief Whip Pat Carey (Dublin North-West), replacing Tom Kitt, who has returned to the backbenches.

Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny stated that the number of junior ministries should be cut. In a comment on the new appointments he said the number of Ministers of State had risen from seven to ten, then to 15 and is now more than 20.
Some Ministers of State did not have areas of responsibility they could act independently on, the opposition leader added.

Despite some speculation that the new Taoiseach might reduce the number of Ministers of State, he opted to retain the existing number (enlarged by his predecessor Bertie Ahern).

A full analysis of the whole new administration - cabinet and junior ministers - will be posted here within the next couple of days.

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