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The new cabinet has been announced and in general it contains some of the more able politicians in all three parties. Irish politics is not over-endowed with outstanding politicians at the moment and it probably took the combined resources of three parties to come up with 16 half way capable cabinet ministers.

The appointments are:

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

The gender balance isn't great at 4 women out of 17, and would have been even worse if senior Ministers like Richard Bruton and Charlie Flanagan had not been pushed aside to make way for Helen McEntee and Heather Humphries and if first time Kerry Fianna Fáil TD Norma Foley hadn't been promoted ahead of much more experienced politicians. Two additional women, Pipa Hackett (GP) and Hildegard Naughton (FG) have been appointed to "Super-Junior"portfolios with the right to attend cabinet.

Helen McEntee has been outstanding as European Affairs junior minister and deserves her promotion while Heather Humphries is possibly there as the only politician from a protestant background in the cabinet. There are two Ministers from my own constituency of Wicklow:  Simon Harris and former independent, then Social Democrat Party, and now FF TD Alan Donnelly. Former health minister Simon Harris is generally agreed to have done a good job on the Covid-19 pandemic and Alan Donnelly is a very able, if v. career focused former management consultant who may have the skills to sort out a hugely dysfunctional Department of Health.

The department of Health is is colloquially referred to as "Angola" to indicate how difficult it is to reform, and has defeated many able ministers in the past, so I wouldn't be holding my breath.

Index of Frank's Diaries

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Jun 27th, 2020 at 07:46:06 PM EST

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