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Taoiseach thanks former ministers for service 'during difficult times'

Announcing his new Cabinet today, Enda Kenny thanked outgoing ministers for their service to the Irish people.

Image: Niall Carson/PA Archive

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY commended the careers of the ministers who are leaving the cabinet and spoke of his enthusiasm for working with those who have been nominated for new portfolio positions.

Outlining the Cabinet reshuffle in the Dáil this afternoon, Kenny “deeply thanked” former Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore for his “outstanding” service to the Irish people:

As Minister for Foreign Affairs, he has been central to restoring Ireland’s international reputation.

Kenny said that Pat Rabbitte, former Communications Minister, has seen “Ireland move up the international league tables for high-speed connectivity”.

The Taoiseach commended former Education Minister Ruairí Quinn’s “passion for reform”, and said his years of public service are “an outstanding example of a career in ministerial government”. He also credited Quinn with “transforming FÁS” as a body which will help get young Irish people back to work.

“He will be missed,” he added.

Ex-Environment Minister Phil Hogan “introduced some of the biggest reforms of government during his tenure”, Kenny said, including local government reform, new building regulations, water service, dealing with ground water pollution.

The Taoiseach said that Hogan’s experience in working on these difficult issues “will stand to him” in his new role as Ireland’s EU Commissioner.

Kenny said former Arts Minister Jimmy Deenihan made “major progress to the inherited and long-ignored issue of the environment” such as climate change and Irish boglands in his role as a minister.

Of Deenihan’s new appointment as a junior minister at the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for the Irish diaspora, the Taoiseach said:

I look forward to working closely with him in his new role of connecting with the Irish Diaspora all over the world.

Speaking after the Taoiseach, Tánaiste Joan Burton  said that Eamon Gilmore, Ruairí Quinn and Pat Rabbitte had made significant contributions to both the government’s work and to public life.

The three politicians fought for “progressive change in the best interests of our people”, she said, and believes they will continue to do so.

LIVE: Leo Varadkar is the new Health Minister, Pat Rabbitte dropped from Cabinet > 

More: Rabbitte: If you’re deemed too old to serve in Cabinet, you look at things differently >

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