Election 2020: Simon Coveney (Fine Gael)
Cork South-Central – Elected 8th count
Simon Coveney. File photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins
With a high profile and praise for his performance in the Brexit saga, he is also an effective Dáil performer, a quick thinker when faced with difficult questions, earnest, policy driven and ambitious.
From Cork’s so-called merchant class and a sailing and rugby fan, in his school years he was expelled from Clongowes for partying and drinking.
He served as minister for agriculture from 2011 to 2016 in a happier time for the sector, then spent just a year as minister for housing, when a controversial pledge to end all B &B and hotel emergency accommodation spectacularly backfired.
Luckily for him he exited the portfolio to the loftier brief as Minister for Foreign Affairs.
He came to politics in a 1998 by-election following the death of his father Hugh Coveney.
He successfully ran for the European Parliament in 2004 but returned to the Dáil in the 2007 general election.