Enda Kenny expected to appoint John Deasy as Minister of State

Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Helen McEntee and Martin Heydon in line for promotion

Regina Doherty: expected to have a heavy workload as Chief Whip because of the new Dáil arithmetic.

Regina Doherty: expected to have a heavy workload as Chief Whip because of the new Dáil arithmetic.


Taoiseach Enda Kenny is expected to appoint one of his most vocal critics, Fine Gael Waterford TD John Deasy, as a Minister of State in a list of appointments to be made next week.

If it goes ahead, the appointment may be seen as an attempt by Mr Kenny to keep people who could sow disaffection about his leadership as close to him as possible.

Six years ago, Mr Deasy said people in Fine Gael were “disgusted” with the way the party was run. “If you don’t toe the line then you will be punished,” he said then.

It is also expected Laois-Offaly TD Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, Meath East TD Helen McEntee and Kildare South TD Martin Heydon are all in line for promotions.

Cork South West TD Jim Daly, Galway West TD Sean Kyne and Dublin South Central TD Catherine Byrne are also being mentioned for positions.

Michael Ring, Joe McHugh, Dara Murphy and Damien English are expected to remain, while it is understood Mr Kenny wants three Ministers of State in the Department of Health.

Finian McGrath has already been appointed as Minister for Disability so two new appointments there remain. Ms McEntee is in line to be given responsibility for mental health.

The Taoiseach favours appointing another minister of state to assist Chief Whip Regina Doherty, who will have a heavy workload because of the new Dáil arithmetic.

Ms Doherty, Mr McGrath and Paul Kehoe have all been assigned Minister of State roles.

Kevin “Boxer” Moran and Sean Canney will share a junior minister job, while John Halligan has also been promised.

Meanwhile, Sinn Féin unveiled its shadow cabinet yesterday with deputy leader Mary Lou McDonald moved from public expenditure and reform.

Ms McDonald will shadow Tánaiste Frances Fitzgerald and become all-Ireland spokeswoman on mental health.

Pearse Doherty will remain as finance spokesman and Louise O’Reilly will replace Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin in health.