Noel Dempsey TD has been appointed Minister of Communications, Marine and Natural Resources in the Cabinet reshuffle announced by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern TD yesterday.
In his new job, the former Education Minister will be faced with the politically charged broadband issue as well as a range of other communications issue of central importance to the Irish economy. He replaces Dermot Ahern TD, who has landed the high-profile Minister of Foreign Affairs role.
In other changes, former Information Society Minister Mary Hanafin TD becomes Education Minister, Brian Cowen TD succeeds Charlie McCreevy as Minister of Finance and Micheál Martin takes over as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment from Mary Harney, who, as expected, moves to Health.
The remaining Cabinet changes are: Social and Family Affairs — Seamus Brennan TD; Transport — Martin Cullen TD; Agriculture — Mary Coughlan TD; Defence — Willie O’Dea TD; and Environment — Dick Roche.
Four new Ministers of State have been appointed: Sean Power, Batt O’Keeffe, Brendan Smith and Conor Lenihan. The new chief whip is Tom Kitt.
The Taoiseach also announced that Minister of State Jim McDaid and Defence Minister Michael Smith have both resigned.