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Gone home early? Ruairí Quinn absent for his final questions as Education Minister

The Minister announced last week that he will be ending up his career in politics after almost four decades.

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LABOUR’S RUAIRÍ QUINN was absent from the Dáil chamber this afternoon for his final round of questions ever as a Cabinet minister.

The Minister for Education announced last week that he will be stepping down as minister after the upcoming reshuffle, and that he will not be contesting the 2016 General Election after almost 40 years in politics.

However, he can be forgiven – he is likely to still be in today’s Cabinet meeting.

There was a jovial mood in the chamber on 2 July when Eamon Gilmore took his last set of questions in his role as Tánaiste.

Instead of Minister Quinn, Junior Ministers from his Department Sean Sherlock and Ciaran Cannon fielded questions from the opposition on the Education portfolio.

Sherlock has already been tipped to take over the full ministerial position in the upcoming reshuffle.

He is likely to face competition from party colleagues Kathleen Lynch and recently elected Deputy Leader Alan Kelly.

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Sherlock currently has special responsibility for research and innovation at the Department of Education and Skills.

Cannon has remained at the fringes of speculation, but could retain his position unless the Taoiseach hopes to place a more familiar face in his role.

Here’s one who left earlier: All smiles as Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore takes his last Dáil questions >

Reaction to Ruairí Quinn’s departure: “A nice, decent gentleman” and the inventor of the Euro >

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Nicky Ryan

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