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Pictured is Taoiseach Simon Harris alongside newly announced Cabinet ministers in Government Buildings today Government Information Service

Patrick O'Donovan and Peter Burke named as ministers after appointment by Taoiseach Simon Harris

As the new leader of the country, Harris has this evening nominated members of Cabinet from his own party.


THE VOTING IS done and we have a new Taoiseach – but Simon Harris isn’t the only TD has been appointed to a new role today.

As the new leader of the country, Harris this evening nominated members of Cabinet from his own party. The Cabinet is largely remaining the same, with no demotions being made. 

Patrick O’Donovan has been appointed as Minister for Further and Higher Education and Peter Burke has been appointed as Minister for Enterprise.

Helen McEntee is staying in her role as Minister for Justice. Hildegarde Naughton is also staying on as Chief Whip with a new brief around special needs.

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill has been nominated by Harris as Minister of State with special responsibility for EU Affairs. 

Follow us for updates below.

Updates by Hayley Halpin

The Journal / YouTube

Good afternoon, Hayley Halpin here for the next few hours as Simon Harris is expected to nominate members of the new Cabinet.

Earlier this afternoon, Harris received his seal of office from President Higgins, becoming Ireland’s newest Taoiseach.

Prior to this, Harris was officially nominated by the Dáil by 88 votes to 69 to be the next Taoiseach.

The new Taoiseach is expected to begin summoning his new Cabinet members before the Dáil begins again after 5pm.

The new Cabinet members will then be voted for and approved by the Dáil before it is adjourned for the evening.

While Harris’ appointment as Taoiseach is a fairly straightforward process, what’s less certain yet is who he will place into ministerial roles.

Fine Gael has control of Enterprise, Public Expenditure, Social Protection, Higher Education, and Justice.

Harris leaving Higher Education to become Taoiseach frees up one of those ministerial roles for promotion, while Simon Coveney’s resignation as Minister for Enterprise opens another slot.

Harris will also promote a couple of backbenchers to junior minister roles. These will be confirmed at Cabinet tomorrow rather than in the Dáil today.

Our Political Editor Christina Finn reported earlier that Harris is expected to place a renewed focus on the European affairs brief with someone he rates highly who can communicate major EU issues like security and migration at home. 

Here’s the moment Simon Harris was elected Taoiseach in the Dáil by 88 votes to 69:

The president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen has expressed her “warmest congratulations” to Simon Harris on his appointment as Taoiseach.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also offered his congratulations to Harris.

“As the closest of neighbours, I look forward to forging even stronger ties between our two countries so we can deliver for people across these isles,” Sunak said.

Northern Ireland’s Secretary of State Chris Heaton Harris has now congratulated Harris on his appointment. 

“I wish him all the best as he settles into the role and look forward to working together as we further strengthen UK-Ireland cooperation,” he said.

Harris was in Co Armagh yesterday for the first North-South Ministerial Council in nearly three years.

The North-South Ministerial Council was set up under the Good Friday Agreement to develop cross-border co-operation between ministers in the North and the Republic.

At the event, Tánaiste Micheál Martin was asked whether he will have to do some “hand-holding” with Harris in terms of European affairs and Northern Ireland.

Responding to reporters, Martin said that the incoming Taoiseach “has been in government for a considerable period of time and will be well aware of all of the issues”. 

“In my capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense, on the key issues of Northern Ireland obviously I will be working flat out, as we said earlier, to make sure the institutions are resilient to support institutions to continue to develop the Shared Island initiative, which is having real significant impact on a number of fronts,” Martin said. 

The Tánaiste was asked if he thinks the eye will be taken off the ball on Northern issues with Harris, to which he said he doesn’t believe so. 

CONFIRMED: Patrick O’Donovan is set to be appointed as Minister for Further and Higher Education and Peter Burke is to be appointed as Minister for Enterprise. 

Patrick O'Donovan Patrick O'Donovan Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

Peter Burke Peter Burke Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

Helen McEntee is to stay in her role as Minister for Justice, our Political Editor Christina Finn reports

Facial Recognition-3_90695358 Justice Minister Helen McEntee Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

Hildegarde Naughton is to stay on as Chief Whip with a new brief around special needs.

Hildegarde Hildegarde Naughton Leah Farrell / Leah Farrell / /

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenksyy has congratulated Harris. 

“We value our partnership and thank Ireland for its consistent support as Ukraine defends itself against Russian aggression and pursues EU accession,” Zelenskyy said. 

“I am confident that our active bilateral cooperation strengthens security for both nations and throughout all of our Europe.”

Taoiseach Simon Harris has arrived into the Dáil chamber, being greeted by a round of applause from TDs. 

Taoiseach Simon Harris is speaking before the Dáil now, confirming his Cabinet appointments. 

harris Oireachtas TV Oireachtas TV

Jennifer Carroll MacNeill has been nominated by Harris as Minister of State with special responsibility for EU Affairs. 

“Our relationship with the European Union and role within the EU is more important than ever at this time of geopolitical uncertainty,” Harris has told the Dáil. 

324Fine Gael Ard Fheis_90702857 Jennifer Carroll Macneill Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

Harris has said he will tomorrow proposed further TDs to serve as Ministers of State. 

Harris has said he will convene a Dublin City Centre taskforce to “chart a path forward towards a safer and vibrant Dublin”. 

“It is time to have pride again in our capital city,” he said. 

The Government will establish a Cabinet Committee on Children and Education and Disability, Harris has said.

“This is about breaking down silos across Government and making change happen more quickly,” he said. 

“We are determined to bring new coherence and faster progress on solving the issues that matter most to people with disabilities.”

Tánaiste Micheál Martin is now addressing the Dáil. 

dfa Oireachtas TV Oireachtas TV

Martin has taken the opportunity to discuss the situation in Gaza. 

The Tánaiste said he is in “no doubt that war crimes have been committed” in Gaza. 

He has confirmed he will bring forward a proposal for Ireland to recognise the State of Palestine “when international discussions are complete”.

Ceann Comhairle Sean Ó Fearghaíl has told the Healy Raes to “behave yourselves” after they began interrupting Green Party leader Eamon Ryan as he spoke about climate change during his speech before the Dáil. 

Pictured is Taoiseach Simon Harris alongside newly announced Cabinet ministers in Government Buildings today

Taoiseach and newly appointed cabinet_01 Government Information Service Government Information Service

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Defence Matt Carthy has welcomed Tánaiste Micheál Martin ‘s comments that “recognition of a Palestinian state will happen”, but adding that it “falls short of a firm declaration”. 

“There may be no Palestine left to recognise unless Ireland and international community act decisively and immediately. No more delays,” he said. 

Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald is up now. 

fdsgf Oireachtas TV Oireachtas TV

She is hitting out at the Government over “young people being forced out by the lack of affordable housing”. 

She said homeownership is a “pipe dream for so many”, adding that 4,000 children are growing up in emergency accommodation under the Government’s watch. 

“This Government is out of touch,” she said. 

Labour leader Ivana Bacik took the opportunity to highlight child poverty, household energy prices and low pay for workers. 

She urged Harris: “Don’t give in to the business lobbyists.”

Bacik asked that Ireland implement the EU directive on the minimum wage.

The new Taoiseach has also been urged to support a Labour Party Bill that would give statutory leave to workers experiencing miscarriage.

Bacik also called for the HSE recruitment freeze to be scrapped.

Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns said the government is “reshuffling some of the personalities, but keeping the same old policies”.

She said the Dáil heard “speech after speech defending the status quo”, and accused Minister Eamon Ryan of categorising a housing crisis as “a job well done”.

The crisis has driven a generation of people out of the country, said Cairns.

Capture Holly Cairns Oireachtas TV Oireachtas TV

Independent TD Denis Naughten is raising the issue of Long Covid and has said the model of care needs to be revised. 

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has said “nothing is changing” with the new Taoiseach. 

adfadsf Oireachtas TV Oireachtas TV

Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae, meanwhile, has said he wants to be the first to invite Harris to Co Kerry to meet with farmers. 

Sinn Féin spokesperson on finance Pearse Doherty has that there is nothing new with the appointment of Harris. 

“Today is about trying to pretend that there’s something different when we know what we really needed was change, a change of Government by giving people an opportunity to decide who should lead the next government in a general election,” he told RTÉ’s Six One News.

The opposition objected the Government appointments and a Dáil vote is now underway. 

The new Cabinet ministers have been approved in the Dáil. 

The final vote was 87 for and 68 against.

Business has concluded for the day in the Dáil and will resume at 2pm tomorrow.

The ministers will now head to Áras an Uachtaráin to be formally appointed by President Michael D Higgins. They will also receive their Seal of Office. 

In his first address to the Dáil as Taoiseach this afternoon, Harris made close to 30 promises that he intends to deliver on during his time in office. 

Harris told the Dáil that the government will need to “be both energetic and laser-focused” on delivery in several key areas, including housing, health, and help for families, farmers, and small businesses. 

The new Taoiseach also said he plans on enhancing security, as well as “exerting” Ireland’s influence in the world. 

Our reporter Diarmuid Pepper has taken a look at the 26 promises made by Harris today. You can read that here

Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) has congratulated Simon Harris and said he looks forward to working with him. 

A convoy of cars and a bus have arrived at Áras an Uachtaráin as Cabinet members are expected to receive their Seals of Office. 

The Ministers have received their Seals of Office at Áras an Uachtaráin. 

The newly appointed Cabinet have also held their first meeting.

New cabinet The new Cabinet meets for the first time Government Information Service Government Information Service

That’s all from me here on the liveblog for tonight.

You can catch up on this afternoon’s developments below. 


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