Gilmore names new front bench
Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore has named his predecessor Pat Rabbitte as spokesman on justice in his new front bench announced today.
The party's outgoing deputy leader Liz McManus has been moved from the health spokeswoman's role to the communications, energy and natural resources post.
The health spokesperson's role has been given to Jan O'Sullivan, one of the two candidates for the deputy leadership vacancy.
Former communications spokesman Tommy Broughan, who decided not to contest the Labour leadership recently, moves to transport.
Joan Burton, who is also running for the deputy leadership, is staying in the finance job, where she will continue to shadow Tanaiste and Minister for Finance Brian Cowen.
Brendan Howlin moves from justice to a new spokesperson's post on constitutional matters and law reform.
Galway West TD Michael D Higgins remains spokesman on foreign affairs.
Mr Gilmore included all his TDs in his front bench, including newly elected deputies Ciaran Lynch and Joanna Tuffy.
Emmet Stagg is to be Labour's chief whip, while the assistant chief whip's post goes to Cork East TD Sean Sherlock, son of the late Joe Sherlock.
Mr Gilmore also established three new policy bureaux, one each on economic affairs, social affairs and the environment. The three chairs of the committees are Sean Sherlock, Brian O'Shea and Joanna Tuffy.
The Labour Party leader said his new 'cabinet' contains a "blend of youth and experience that will enable Labour to keep the government to account in the Dáil and Seanad; to ensure the maximum possible profile for the party; and to facilitate the development of new ideas in key policy areas".
He said he had not felt the need to shadow exactly existing Government departments, which he said were often created simply as an "administrative convenience" for government.
"I have in a number of cases given deputies and senators responsibility for areas that I consider to be of particular importance, including human rights, constitutional and law reform, disability issues and the Irish language. Each of the three newly elected TDs has been given important portfolios and I have no doubt that they will rise to the challenge," he said.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny also unveiled his new front bench today.
The full Labour front bench is as follows:
Agriculture and Food:Sean Sherlock
Arts, Sport and Tourism:Mary Upton
Communications, Energy and Natural Resources:Liz McManus
Community and Rural Affairs:Jack Wall
Constitutional Matters and Law Reform:Brendan Howlin
Defence and the Irish language:Brian O'Shea
Disability Issues and Equality:Kathleen Lynch
Education and Science:Ruairi Quinn
Enterprise, Trade and Employment:Willie Penrose
Environment and Heritage:Joanna Tuffy
Europe and Human Rights:Joe Costello
Foreign Affairs:Michael D. Higgins
Housing and Local Government:Ciaran Lynch
Social and Family Affairs:Roisin Shortall
Chief Whip:Emmet Stagg
Assistant Whip:Brian O'Shea
Commuter Issues:Senator Dominic Hannigan
Consumer Affairs:Senator Brendan Ryan
Tourism:Senator Alan Kelly
Older People:Senator Phil Prendergast
Marine:Senator Michael McCarthy
Children:Senator Alex White