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Chief whip gets more powers, but the Taoiseach is still 'in every way' the Defence Minister

Many powers over the day-to-day running of the Defence Minister have been delegated to the government chief whip Paul Kehoe following Cabinet approval today.

Paul Kehoe
Paul Kehoe
Image: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

THE GOVERNMENT CHIEF Whip Paul Kehoe has been given responsibility for certain day-to-day duties of the Defence Forces, the government confirmed today.

Kehoe has been a Minister of State at the Department of Defence since 2011 and now takes responsibility for a number of day-to-day functions connected to the Defence Forces following a Cabinet decision today.

The Wexford TD will have powers over the promotion and recruitment of officers, sick leave and most of the principal day-to-day functions of the Defence Forces, a government spokesperson said.

However the spokesperson insisted this evening that “legally and in every way the Taoiseach remains Minister for Defence”.

The Taoiseach appointed himself as Minister for Defence in the wake of Alan Shatter’s resignation last month with Frances Fitzgerald appointed as Minister for Justice and Equality.

Shatter had previously had responsibility for both the justice and defence portfolios.

In one of his first acts as Minister for Defence Kenny announced earlier this month that an order had been placed for a third offshore patrol vessel for the Irish Naval Service at a cost of €54 million. 

Read: Enda Kenny has just ordered a new €54 million boat for the Navy

Read: The opposition wants to know how long Enda Kenny will stay as Defence Minister

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Hugh O'Connell

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