D Day for Junior Ministers

It’s expected the government will appoint 17 Ministers for state today following a cabinet meeting.


There’s an extra focus on the appointments following criticism of the geographical spread of the cabinet ministers which left the entire West and North West without any Ministerial representation in the new cabinet.



Donegal TD’s, Fine Gael’s Joe McHugh and Fianna Fail’s Charlie McConalogue are expected to be in contention while Sligo Leitrim TD’s Marc MacSharry and Frank Feighan will also be hopeful of being selected as junior minsters.


As with the cabinet itself there are far more TD’s hopeful of a call-up to a junior ministry than there are seats available.


Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said the three parties have been working to pick them based on ability, gender and – importantly in the light of the last few days – geography.


He arguably has the hardest job – with demoted senior ministers and up and comers to keep happy.


It’s thought Josepha Madigan and Joe McHugh will be among the appointees.


While outgoing Ministers of State Patrick O’Donovan, John Paul Phelan, Damien English, Paul Kehoe and Brendan Griffin are all hopeful of being retained.


Party Chairman Martin Heydon and TD Peter Burke are hoping for promotions – with Jennifer Carroll MacNeill the sole first time TD being talked about for a Junior Ministry.


Geography will play a part for Fianna Fáil – Along with the Charlie McConalogue and Marc MacSharry it’s expected that  Anne Rabbitte, Mary Butler, James Browne, and Niall Collins hoping that boosts their chances.


Overlooked for cabinet, there’s likely roles for Thomas Byrne and Jack Chambers, and also possibly Jim O’Callaghan.


Niamh Smyth, Robert Troy and Michael Moynihan are also in the conversation.


For the Greens there’s likely to be appointees outside of Dublin with Marc O Cathasaigh, Brian Leddin and Malcolm Noonan talked about alongside Dun Laoghaire’s Ossian Smyth.


It’s also possible Eamon Ryan will give one of the roles to Neasa Hourigan as an olive branch after she campaigned against the programme for government.


With seven seats each for Fine Gael and Fianna Fail and three for the Greens, there will be fresh disappointment for many today.