Issue 15 - March 2011

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New government

The Dail approved the election of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach and Eamon Gilmore as Tanaiste on 9th March.  On 15th March, the Taoiseach confirmed the following ministerial appointments in the Dail (Dail Eireann, Debates, 15th March 2011, 78-9):

  • Tanaiste and Foreign Affairs: Eamon Gilmore [later to be Foreign Affairs and Trade]
  • Finance: Michael Noonan
  • Enterprise, Trade & Innovation: Richard Bruton [later to be Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation]
  • Social Protection: Joan Burton
  • Tourism, Culture & Sport: Jimmy Deenihan [later to be Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht)]
  • Communications, Energy and Natural Resources: Pat Rabbitte
  • Environment, Heritage and Local Government: Phil Hogan [later to be Environment, Community and Local Government]
  • Justice, Law Reform & Defence: Alan Shatter [later to be Justice, Equality & Defence]
  • Agriculture, Fisheries & Food: Simon Coveney [later to be Agriculture, Marine & Food]
  • Community, Rural & Galetacht Affairs: Frances Fitzgerald [later to be Minister for Children]
  • Health & Children: James Reilly
  • Transport: Leo Varadkar [later to be Transport, Tourism and Sport]
  • Minister without Portfolio: Brendan Howlin [later to be Public Expenditure & Reform]

[The new posts will be assigned, once transfer of functions orders are completed- Ed].  The following assignments were made for ministers of state, here listing their responsibilities:

  • Taoiseach, defence and chief whip: Paul Kehoe
  • Housing and planning: Willie Penrose
  • Gaeltacht Affairs: Dinny McGinley
  • Primary care: Roisin Shortall
  • Small business: John Perry
  • Tourism & Sport: Michal Ring
  • Trade & development: Jan O’Sullivan
  • Disability, equality and mental health: Kathleen Lynch
  • NewERA: Fergus O’Dowd
  • Public service reform and public works: Brian Hayes
  • Food, horticulture & food safety: Shane McEntee
  • European affairs: Lucinda Creighton
  • Research & innovation: Sean Sherlock
  • Training & skills: Ciaran Cannon
  • Public & commuter transport: Alan Kelly

(Dail Eireann, Debates, 15th March 2011, 79).

In the Seanad, the following senators vacated their seats following their election to Dail Eireann: Jerry Buttimer, Ciaran Cannon, Paudie Coffey, Paschal Donohue, Frances Fitzgerald, Dominic Hannigan, Michael McCarthy, Nicky McFadden, Joe O’Reilly, John Paul Phelan, Shane Ross, Brendan Ryan, Liam Twomey and Alex White.  The Taoiseach nominated Darragh O’Brien as a new member of the Seanad (Seanad Eireann, Debate, 8th March 2011, 567).

Later in the month, the new government asked the Dail to approve the restoration to the order paper of ten Bills before the 30th Dail and they were duly approved (Dail Eireann, 23rd March 2011, 362).  Those related to social policy were the Child care (amendment) Bill, 2009 [Seanad], then at report stage and the Immigration, residence and protection Bill, 2010, then at committee stage.