Junior Ministers expunged from Taoiseach’s site before reshuffle

New Ministers of State expected to be announced tomorrow

Jimmy Deenihan at  Leinster House last week. Mr Deenihan has already taken up the position of Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for the Irish abroad. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Jimmy Deenihan at Leinster House last week. Mr Deenihan has already taken up the position of Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for the Irish abroad. Photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

Mon, Jul 14, 2014, 12:58

Current Ministers of State have already been expunged from Taoiseach Enda Kenny’s official website in advance of the second phase of the Government reshuffle expected tomorrow.

Only Chief Whip Paul Kehoe, who is being retained in his position, and freshly-demoted Jimmy Deenihan are named on the list of junior Ministers on the Department of the Taoiseach site, leaving 13 empty slots.

Also in the firing line for demotion is Minister of State for Small Business John Perry of Fine Gael. He faced a commercial court judgement against him over a €2.47 million debt to Danske Bank last year, before striking a deal with the bank to restructure his debt.

Widely tipped for promotion is Carlow-Kilkenny TD Anne Phelan, who nominated Tánaiste Joan Burton as Labour Party leader.

She may take the new Minister of State portfolio with responsibility for rural affairs.

Also among the Labour ranks, Minister of State for mental health Kathleen Lynch will retain her portfolio while taking on additional responsibility for primary care.

Possibilities for promotion from the Labour backbenchers include Dublin Mid-West’s Joanna Tuffy, Kerry deputy Arthur Spring, Michael McCarthy of Cork, Kevin Humphries from Dublin and Wicklow’s Anne Ferris.

On the Fine Gael side, Mr Deenihan has already taken up the position of Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs with special responsibility for the Irish abroad.

He was replaced at Cabinet by Heather Humphreys, who was named Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht last Friday.

In the frame for possible promotion from the Fine Gael backbenches are Meath TDs Regina Doherty and Damien English, Simon Harris of Wicklow and Cork TD Darragh Murphy.

Also being mentioned are Mary Mitchell-O’Connor of Dun Laoghaire and Eoghan Murphy of Dublin South-East.

There were a number of departures from the junior ministerial ranks last Friday when Labour’s Jan O’Sullivan was elevated to become Minister for Education. Alex White was made Minister for Communications and Alan Kelly Minister for the Environment.

Fine Gael’s Paschal Donohoe was promoted to become Minister for Transport.