Fahey left out of junior ministers line-up

 

Frank Fahey and Noel Treacy have been left out of the line-up of ministers of state announced today by the Taoiseach while Cavan-Monaghan TD Brendan Smith has been elevated to Minister of State for Children.

Acting Green Party leader Trevor Sargent, was as expected, given responsibility for food and horticulture at the Department of Agriculture. There was no other Green Party appointment.

Fianna Fáil traditionally balances appointments across the regions, which makes the demotion of the high-profile Mr Fahey all the more surprising considering both he and Mr Treacy are from Galway constituencies.

That leaves Minister for Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs Eamon Ó Cuív as the only Galway-based TD with a ministerial post.

Other notable appointments were the Taoiseach's brother Noel Ahern who has been moved to the Office of Public Works at the Department of Finance. The position is one of the plum jobs among ministers of state and was previously held by Progressive Democrats president Tom Parlon.

Mr Ahern announced 20 ministers of state an increase of three which requires legislation to be enacted to take effect. The Taoiseach said this would be passed before the Dail recess next month.

He used his expanded team to bring some of his critics into the fold. Kilkenny TD John McGuinness and Dublin TD Pat Carey were at the forefront of a minor backbench rebellion during the last government.

Today Mr McGuinness was given a post at the Department of Enterprise, Trade & Employment and Mr Carey was put in charge of the national drugs strategy.

Among the new appointments are Billy Kelleher, who replaces Minister of State for Labour Tony Killeen; and Michael Kitt who was given responsibility for the expanding Overseas Aid area succeeding Conor Lenihan who moves from the Department of Foreign Affairs to Justice.

Mr Killeen was moved to the Department of Environment which is headed by the Green Party's John Gormley.

Speaking after his announcement, the Taoiseach again said he had expanded his team because of the increasingly complex cross-departmental nature of some of the briefs.

He also referred in a statement to the "time requirements for the extensive legislative programme" of the new Government.

"Of the 20 ministers of state, eight are newly appointed (including two who previously served for less than six months), while a further five have total service of little more than two-and-a-half years. The team is therefore a good mixture of solid experience and fresh faces," Mr Ahern said.

Last week, Mr Ahern re-appointed Tom Kitt, as Chief Whip and demoted Dick Roche from Environment to Minister for European Affairs.

FULL LINE-UP

Health Promotion and Food Safety @ Health & Children:Pat the Cope Gallagher

Equality Issues @ Justice, Equality & Law Reform:Seán Power

Fisheries @ Fisheries & Food:John Browne

Innovation Policy @ Enterprise Trade & Employment and Education and Science:  Michael Ahern

Office of Public Works @ Finance:Equality Issues @ Justice, Equality and Law Reform:Noel Ahern

Housing, Urban Renewal & Developing Areas @ Environment, Heritage and Local Government:Batt O'Keeffe

Environment & Energy @ Environment, Heritage & Local Government and Energy Communications, and Natural Resources: Tony Killeen

Integration Policy @ Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs and Education & Science and Justice, Equality & Law Reform:Conor Lenihan

Forestry @ Agriculture, Food, and Fisheries:Mary Wallace

Lifelong Learning, Youth Work & School Transport @ Enterprise, Trade and Employment and Education and Science:Seán Haughey

Overseas Development @ Foreign Affairs:Micheal Kitt

Food and Horticulture @ Agriculture, Food & Fisheries:Trevor Sargent

Drugs Strategy & Community Affairs @ Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs:Pat Carey

Labour Affairs @ Enterprise, Trade, and Employment:Billy Kelleher

Trade and Commerce @ Enterprise, Trade & Employment:John McGuinness

Disability Issues and Mental Health @ Health & Children(post excludes discrimination issues) , Education & Science and Enterprise, Trade & Employment and Justice, Equality and Law Reform:Dr Jimmy Devins

Older People @ Health and Children and Social & Family Affairs Environment, Heritage & Local Government:Máire Hoctor

European Affairs @ the Department of Foreign Affairs:Dick Roche

Government Chief Whip:Tom Kitt