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Enda Kenny is about to announce his Cabinet reshuffle, here are the changes we know so far...

Leo Varadkar to Health, Phil Hogan is off, Joan Burton is staying put and it looks like James Reilly is going to Foreign Affairs.

Leo Varadkar is set to replace James Reilly as Minister for Health
Leo Varadkar is set to replace James Reilly as Minister for Health
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Updated 12.47pm 

THE CABINET RESHUFFLE is expected to be announced in the Dáil at around lunchtime with soon-to-be ministers and soon-to-be former ministers being informed of their fate this morning.

It’s understood that Taoiseach Enda Kenny has been meeting with the government chief whip Paul Kehoe and ministers are being informed of the impending changes.

Tánaiste Joan Burton is also meeting with prospective ministers and those being dropped.

All ministers, irrespective of whether they are being moved or not, are meeting with their party leaders this morning.

Labour changes

Labour’s deputy leader Alan Kelly is being promoted to Cabinet and will be the new Minister for Environment.

Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan is tipped to be Education Minister.

Junior health minister Alex White is taking over at the Department of Communications with Pat Rabbitte being dropped from Cabinet. He is said to have been very angry at his demotion.

Burton will remain at the Department of Social Protection with some speculation that a junior minister will be appointed to that department.

However the new Minsters of State will not be formally appointed until after next Tuesday’s Cabinet meeting.

It’s also thought that Labour will get a super junior minister at the Department of Jobs. That minister will sit at Cabinet but not have a vote. This position will go to the Labour TD for Louth Ged Nash.

Fine Gael changes

The big changes will see Leo Varadkar move from the Department of Transport to the Health portfolio.

For Fine Gael Phil Hogan is expected to take up Ireland’s EU Commissioner post with Labour swapping the Department of Foreign Affairs for the Department of Environment.

Screen Shot 2014-07-11 at 10.55.52

Speaking in the Dáil this morning, Hogan thanked members for “their kindness and cooperation” over the last three years indicating he is departing for Brussels.

Arts Ministers Jimmy Deenihan is reportedly being dropped from Cabinet, according to Newstalk. RTÉ and Newstalk also report that Health Minister James Reilly will move to Foreign Affairs.

Hogan and Deenihan’s departures leave two Fine Gael vacancies at Cabinet.

Junior Europe minister Paschal Donohoe is being widely tipped to be promoted with the other vacancy possibly filled by Paul Kehoe or else Meath West TD Damien English.

It has also been suggested that Fine Gael TD Mary Mitchell-O’Connor could come in as Arts Minister. Richard Bruton will stay on as the Minister for Jobs.

Work harder

Taoiseach said last night that he expects new ministers to work harder than their predecessors.

Speaking last night in Dublin, Kenny said that the new Cabinet will have to “work harder than any of their predecessors” and added: “We have great deal of work to put in place and we look forward to that.”

Ministers – both newly-appointed and reassigned – will take a trip to Áras an Uachtarain at around 2.30pm today where they will receive their ministerial seals and the Cabinet will hold its first meeting.

It’s also expected that the Taoiseach and new Tánaiste Joan Burton will hold a press conference at around 5.30pm or 6pm this evening to outline the government’s priorities for its remaining term in office.

Last night the Fine Gael and Labour leaders signed off on a statement of the coalition’s priorities after four days of talks.

Coalition sources had insisted there were no major issues during the discussions and that no deadlines had been imposed.

Kenny and Burton held substantial discussions on Monday and Tuesday but did not meet on Wednesday as policy advisors went through the detail of proposals.

The final document got the all clear from the party leaders at around 10.30pm last night and the make-up of the new Cabinet is believed to have been worked out.

First published 7.20am

Read: Why is it taking longer than expected to announce the Cabinet reshuffle?

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Hugh O'Connell

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