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Taoiseach Simon Harris (c) with Tánaiste Micheál Martin (fifth from left) and Green Party Leader Eamon Ryan (fourth from right) with newly appointed Ministers of State Alamy
Junior Ministers

Here's who got promoted by Taoiseach Simon Harris at his first cabinet meeting

At Cabinet this morning, Harris filled the remaining Minister of State, or junior ministerial, positions.

NEW TAOISEACH SIMON Harris has completed putting his new political front bench together after filling the remaining junior ministerial positions held by his party.

Harris formally became Taoiseach yesterday after a vote was passed in the Dáil by 88 votes to 69.

Positions held by ministers from the other coalition parties were unchanged and Harris also renominated current Attorney General Rossa Fanning.

Yesterday he made new appointments to Cabinet and this morning filled the remaining Minister of State, or junior ministerial, positions.

Colm Burke has become the new Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy.

The position became open after Hildegarde Naughton vacated the role to become Minister of State for Special Education.

Kieran O’Donnell has also become Minister of State with responsibility for Office of Public Works, a position which arose when Limerick TD Patrick O’Donovan was given Harris’ former role of Minister for Further Education.

Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Minister of State Thomas Byrne has become the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht.

Also confirmed this morning, Dublin Rathdown TD Neale Richmond is the new Minister of State at the Department of Finance, with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance.

That role became free when Jennifer Carroll MacNeill was yesterday announced as Minister of State with special responsibility for EU Affairs.

Richmond will vacate his current position as Minister of State in the Department of Enterprise where he has responsibility for business, employment and retail. 

Richmond is a strong supporter of Harris and was one of the first TDs to publicly endorse him for the position of Fine Gael leader.

He is being replaced by Dublin Midwest TD and long-time Simon Harris supporter Emer Higgins. 

Higgins was until now Fine Gael’s spokesperson on equality and insiders have touted her as a good fit for her new position given her background working in a senior position in Paypal before she became a TD. 

There were changes within the Department of Housing too, with Alan Dillon becoming Minister of State in the Department. 

Other changes announced yesterday saw Peter Burke appointed as Minister for Enterprise, a position which was recently vacated by Simon Coveney.

Meanwhile, Helen McEntee retained her position as Justice Minister after much speculation on her role, as Harris set out an ambition to refocus his party on “law and order”.

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys also held on to their positions.

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