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The members of the newly announced Cabinet Government Information Services
Cabinet Reshuffle

Reshuffle: Martin takes Foreign Affairs, Coveney moves to Enterprise and Donnelly stays on in Health

Leo Varadkar was elected by the Dail as the new Taoiseach earlier today.


New Taoiseach Leo Varadkar made the announcement in the Dáil shortly after 5pm this evening. There are 18 government departments, or departments of state.

The new ranks of junior ministers will be announced next week – most likely on Tuesday.

Here’s what we know so far:

Department of Foreign Affairs: Micheál Martin

taoiseach departure 3 (1) Government Information Service Government Information Service

The former Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, is set to take up the role of Minister for Foreign Affairs alongside the office of the Tánaiste. It had been widely speculated that he would opt for the job and push Simon Coveney into another portfolio.

Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage: Darragh O’Brien

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Not only did Darragh O’Brien survive a motion of no confidence this week, he also held on to his job. This one is not so surprising. Micheál Martin had previously indicated at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis in September that O’Brien would stay on in his role in the Housing Department after the reshuffle.

Department of Health: Stephen Donnelly

Cabinet Donnelly 007 Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

This was a brief that many were watching as there had been speculation in recent months that Stephen Donnelly might not keep a seat at the Cabinet table come the reshuffle.

The Wicklow TD moved up the ranks fast, from being elected in 2011 as an independent,  then becoming one of the Social Democrats’ three co-leaders before joining Fianna Fáil. In 2020, he took over from Simon Harris when he became health minister – a job he has managed to hold on to today.

Department of Public Expenditure & Reform: Paschal Donohoe 

Finance 07 Sam Boal Sam Boal

No surprises here. We already knew that Paschal Donohoe would be rotating with Michael McGrath in the reshuffle.

The Dublin Central TD has been in the Department of Finance since 2017. Earlier this month, following some controversy about whether he would be able to take up the role, Donohoe was re-elected to lead the Eurogroup

The grouping is an informal body where ministers of the 19 countries using the euro discuss common concerns around sharing a single currency.

Department of Finance: Michael McGrath 

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As referenced above, McGrath swapped with Donohoe so is now the Finance Minister. McGrath has been a Cork South Central TD since 2007 but became a minister for the first time in 2020 when he became Public Expenditure Minister.

Department of Education: Norma Foley

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The current Education Minister, Norma Foley, is set to remain in place following this evening’s reshuffle. The Kerry TD was a surprise appointment when the coalition took office in 2020.

Department of Agriculture: Charlie McConalogue 

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The third Agriculture Minister in the lifetime of the coalition, Charlie McConalogue, is set to remain in post. The Donegal TD initially replaced Dara Calleary, who was appointed after Barry Cowen was sacked by Taoiseach Micheál Martin in the early days of the Government.

Department of Social Protection and Department of Rural and Community Development: Heather Humphreys 

049Budget Day

Heather Humphreys will remain on in her brief, however the Monaghan TD will no longer hold the Justice portfolio while Helen McEntee is on maternity leave. She held the brief for just over two weeks while also taking over the department when McEntee was on maternity leave previously.

Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science – interim Minister of Justice: Simon Harris 


Simon Harris, like many other ministers, has remained in his job but has taken on the Department of Justice while Helen McEntee is on maternity leave.

Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment: Simon Coveney 

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After five years in the Foreign Affairs and Defence brief, Coveney is moving to a new department where his focus will move from international affairs to employment and jobs. 

Department of Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth: Roderic O’Gorman

Children Budget 002 Sam Boal Sam Boal

Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media: Catherine Martin

Short Term letting 001 Leah Farrell Leah Farrell

Department of Transport: Eamon Ryan

eamon-ryan-leader-of-the-green-party-and-minister-for-the-environment-climate-and-communications-arrives-ahead-todays-cabinet-meeting-at-dublin-castle-on-friday-28-may-2021-in-dublin-ireland Alamy Stock Photo Alamy Stock Photo

The Green Party had indicated they were happy to keep their current briefs, with Green Party ministers – Eamon Ryan, Catherine Martin and Roderic O’Gorman – all remaining in their departments.

There has been speculation that given the workload that O’Gorman has with his department, which is the lead for dealing with refugee arrivals from Ukraine and other countries, that some of the responsibilities would be distributed to other junior ministries. 

Minister without portfolio: Helen McEntee 

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Helen McEntee will be take back her ministry when she returns from maternity leave next year. The Meath TD has held to justice brief since 2020. She went on maternity leave earlier this month and gave birth to a baby boy recently. While away, Heather Humphreys took over the ministry, but as stated above, this has now moved to Simon Harris.

McEntee took six months paid maternity leave last year becoming the first woman to have a baby while serving in Cabinet. She has previously served as a Minister of State for European Affairs and also for Mental Health and Older People.

Super Junior Minister – Department of Transport: Jack Chambers

Cabinet 006 Sasko Lazarov Sasko Lazarov

The first super junior minister announced so far this evening, Jack Chambers is set to take up a role at the Department of Transport. The former Chief Whip was speculated to take up the Health brief, but this did not come to pass in the end.

Chief Whip: Hildegarde Naughton 

Budget 2022 037 Sasko Lazarov Sasko Lazarov

Attorney General: Rossa Fanning SC

boy-a-and-boy-b-identification-court-case Sam Boal Sam Boal

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