Quinn says he wants to stay in Cabinet

Minister says comments made five years ago are fuelling speculation he wanted to move

 Minister for  Education  Ruairí Quinn TD: does not want to be moved to Brussels.

Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn TD: does not want to be moved to Brussels.



Minister for Education Ruairí Quinn has said he does not want to be moved to Brussels when a vacancy arises for Ireland’s seat at the EU Commission, next year.

Speaking in Naas, Co Kildare, where he attended the inaugural conference of the Education and Training Boards Ireland, Mr Quinn said the Government had an ambitious programme, particularly in education, and he wished to remain for the full term of office.

No longer interested
While he said decisions about a reshuffle and who served as a minister were “for others to make” he maintained he did not want to go. He said he had “expressed an interest” in the commissioner’s job “five years ago” and this was probably fuelling speculation that he would be moved.

But he reiterated that he was no longer interested and was “very happy” in the job he was doing. Mr Quinn was responding to speculation that he may be moved after Taoiseach Enda Mr Kenny’s signalled a reshuffle before the Coalition’s term of office is complete.

No decision has been made as to whether the reshuffle will be carried out before or after the local and European elections next May, it is understood.

It is further understood that Mr Kenny’s intention at this point is to adopt a “minimalist” approach to any changes.

But with a new commissioner to be installed next autumn when Máire Geoghegan-Quinn leaves office, the nomination of a sitting Minister for the post would provide an opportunity for Mr Kenny to reshape the Cabinet.