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New Jobs

In full: Here are your 18 new junior ministers

These are the backbenchers who just got a promotion today.

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has today appointed his Ministers of State.

There are 18 junior ministers jobs up for grabs, with the Minister of State positions used to balance out rural and urban appointments.

Following the Cabinet appointments, there was anger that the West is not adequately represented.

Speaking in the Dáil yesterday, Tánaiste Leo Varadkar admitted it’s very unusual for there not to be a senior minister west of the Shannon and suggested he didn’t co-ordinate appointments with Micheál Martin and Eamon Ryan.

He promised that regional balance would be addressed with the junior minister positions, so here they are:

Fine Gael

Martin Heydon (Kildare South) – Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture


Peter Burke (Longford-Westmeath) – Minister of State for Housing with special responsibility for Local Government and Planning

180 Fine Gael tax plan

Damian English (Meath West) – Minister of State for Enterprise, Trade and Employment


Josepha Madigan (Dublin Rathdown) – Ministers of State at the Department of Education (Special Education and Inclusion)

National Famine Commemoration (8)

Colm Brophy – (Dublin South West) - Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid in the Department of Foreign Affairs

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Patrick O’Donovan (Limerick County) Minister of State OPW


Frank Feighan (Sligo-Leitrim) – Minister of State for Department of Health (Public Health, Well Being and National  Drugs Policy)


Fianna Fáil

Anne Rabbitte (Galway East) - Minister of State for Disability 

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Thomas Byrne (Meath East) - Minister of State for European Affairs 

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Jack Chambers (Dublin West) – Minister of State at the Department of Finance

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Mary Butler (Waterford) - Minister for Older People and Mental Health

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Dara Calleary (Mayo) – Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs and Sport

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Robert Troy (Longford Westmeath) – Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Trade

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Charlie McConalogue (Donegal) - Minister of State at Department of Justice

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Niall Collins (Limerick County) - Minister of State for Higher Education

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Joe O’Brien (Dublin Fingal – Green Party) – Minister of State for Rural and Community Development 

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Malcolm Noonan (Carlow-Kilkenny – Green Party) Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform

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Ossian Smyth (Dun Laoghaire – Green Party) – Minister of State for Public Expenditure

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The snubs and turn downs

There were some notable snubs of job offers today. Most notable was that of Fianna Fáil’s Jim O’Callaghan. 

He was offered a junior ministry by Micheál Martin, however, in a statement he said “his energies and abilities” would be best spent as a backbencher.

He said senior members in the party will be preoccupied with their senior roles in government, so he wants to devote his time to “strengthening our great party by making it more of an attractive option to young voters”.

“I also believe Fianna Fáil needs strong voices outside government who can ensure that our party’s identity can be protected during the term of this coalition government,” he said.

Such a statement certainly put the cat among the pigeons in Leinster House today, with widespread speculation that this could be the first step by the Dublin Bay South TD towards a move against the leader. 

Fine Gael’s Joe McHugh from Donegal was also offered a junior ministerial role, but also turned down the offer. The former Education Minister had been tipped for a position, particularly for geographical reasons, but his refusal to take the job left the door open for Fianna Fáil’s Charlie McConalogue. 

It had been widely speculated that Kerry TD Brendan Griffin would hold on to a junior ministry, however, he did not get the nod today. There had also been speculation the olive branch might have been extended to Richard Bruton who campaigned strongly to be kept on in his ministerial position.

It is also notable about no newly elected TDs from Fine Gael were given the nod this time around. Criticism about the number of women appointed to junior positions is also set to feature tomorrow.

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