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  • irishtimes.com - Posted: July 1, 2010 @ 3:17 pm

    Fine Gael Front Bench

    Harry McGee

    A few surprises. Catherine Byrne, Sean Barrett are the principal ones. Leo Varadkar has survived as has Fergus O’Dowd and Simon Coveney. All three have been given decent portfolios. Phil Hogan is where he was. Like Paul Kehoe, does that suit him? Or was he disappointed that James Reilly was given the deputy job.

    Michael Noonan is the most interesting appointment. I think he’ll excel. Richard Bruton will be good in enterprise particularly as the ‘economic planning’ role is tagged on. That’s what he loves most.
    Enda Kenny Leader and Northern Ireland
    James Reilly Deputy Leader and Health and Children Michael Ring Social Protection
    Alan Shatter Justice and Law Reform
    David Stanton Defence
    Sean Barrett Foreign Affairs
    Richard Bruton Enterprise, Jobs, Economic Planning
    Paul Kehoe Chief Whip (including political reform)
    Catherine Byrne Older Citizens
    Simon Coveney Transport
    Deirdre Clune Innovation and Research
    Jimmy Deenihan Tourism, Culture & Sport
    Andrew Doyle Agriculture, Fisheries and Food
    Frank Feighan Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs
    Charlie Flanagan Children
    Phil Hogan Environment, Heritage and Local Government
    Michael Noonan Finance
    Fergus O’Dowd Education and Skills
    John Perry Small Business
    Leo Varadkar Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
    Frances Fitzgerald Leader in Seanad

    • An Mailleach says:

      Who is Catherine Byrne? She has done nothing in the Dáil…if Kenny thinks that choosing someone just because she’s from Dublin that it will shore up the Dublin vote, he fails to understand that the problem with FG in Dublin is that a large liberal group that used to support FG don’t trust the party. Byrne is practically a nun – she’s hardly going to get the party started!

    • Mick O'Shea says:

      He’s done nothing radical here He could have split the finance portfolio – planning and budget, and indicated how he saw it should be run. Noonan and Barrett get senior portfolios despite being semi-detached members of the parliamentary party. Will Barrett even run again? I suppose he will now. Had finance been split Bruton could have retained an important research, policy making function and it could have allowed the more tenacious Noonan take Lenihan on. He gives Kehoe political reform, though he’s indicated no interest in it, whereas Stanton has, but he gets defence. Coveney, nice but dim, ditto Clune. At least Varadkar gets something meaty and O’Reilly is better than Hogan for Deputy, whose only crime is loyalty – the party may like him, not many outside can see his qualities.

    • Desmond FitzGerald says:

      Catherine Byrne has earned her right to be promoted as any of the other loud mouths whose ‘record’ isn’t all that much to gloat about when you look at it.

      Pity Leo is back but he’s so unpleasant better to have him peeing out than in. Glad to see the next leader Coveney is back – let’s hope he will learn that there is no ‘I’ in team and can knuckle down and get some tangible success.

      His background and looks can only get him so far.

    • Robespierre says:

      If Coveney is ever going to become leadership material he will need to learn how to complete one sentence (I am not picky, any sentence) without saying umm, ahh, eh or another equivalent verbal crutch that gets beaten out of you in your first two Toastmaster speeches.

      Communication is king. Ask Gordon Brown who was all crutches and facial ticks.

    • Dan Sullivan says:

      Robespierre, I think that last comment is a tad over the top given that Simon has admitted to a problem with stuttering http://www.rte.ie/radio1/miriammeets/280210.html if people were to make similar attacks on say Prionias de Rossa there would be letters to the papers and a Joe Duffy special on it, but since Simon is in FG it appears people reckon he is fair game.

    • robespierre says:

      Dan if that is the case fine but good rhetoric promotes the idea of a pregnant pause rather than a verbal crutch like eh, um or aw. Prionsias de Rossa is a very fine example of how somebody with a severe stammer can become a very effective communicator. Everyone knows his history so gets a little leeway and uses pauses in responses very well.

    • Mick Hayes says:

      Why was Brian Hayes (no relation) left out?

      He had excellent views on education, and appeared to have initiative.


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