Ireland’s new Taoiseach Enda Kenny TD named his new cabinet after returning from Aras An Aras an Uachtarain. But will it be a cabinet that will deliver the digital economy and education and technological infrastructure Ireland craves?
After receiving his seal of office from the President Mary McAleese, Kenny returned to Leinster House in Dublin and announced the members of the new cabinet.
Crucially, for the future digital economy and the deployment of ‘Digital Island’ proposals under the new Government’s NewERA/Programme for Government, Pat Rabbitte TD of Labour has been given the Communications portfolio.
To spearhead the urgent task of job creation and maintaining a focus on science and innovation, Fine Gael’s Richard Bruton TD has been given the Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation.
The new Minister for Finance, whose task it will be to reduce Ireland’s deficit and negotiate new terms with Europe, will be Fine Gael’s Michael Noonan.
Providing the intellectual muscle to revive Ireland’s economy will also be a critical task and the new Minister for Education and Skills will be Labour’s Ruairi Quinn TD.
The development of an environmentally sustainable Ireland capable of fielding thousands of new jobs in innovative enterprises and through retrofitting of existing properties will also be crucial and in this role Phil Hogan has been appointed Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government.
The full list of ministers is as follows:
Eamon Gilmore as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
Michael Noonan as Minister for Finance
Ruairi Quinn as Minister for Education and Skills
Brendan Howlin as Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform
Richard Bruton as Minister Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation
Joan Burton as Minister for Social Protection
Jimmy Deenihan as Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Pat Rabbitte as Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Phil Hogan as Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government
Alan Shatter as Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence
Simon Coveney as Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food
Frances Fitzgerald as Minister for Children
Dr James Reilly as Minister for Health
Leo Varadkar as Minister for Tourism and Sport
The Taoiseach has also nominated Marie Whelan, senior counsel as Attorney General to be appointed by McAleese.
Paul Keogh has been named as the Government Chief Whip.