FF-FG-Green cabinet: Who is likely to get what position?

Martin, Varadkar and Ryan reported to be still thrashing out roles for selves and teams

There is speculation Fine Gael’s  Simon Coveney will  remain in  the Department of Foreign Affairs, while  party leader Leo Varadkar as tánaiste will head the Department of Jobs. Photograph:  Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

There is speculation Fine Gael’s Simon Coveney will remain in the Department of Foreign Affairs, while party leader Leo Varadkar as tánaiste will head the Department of Jobs. Photograph: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

 

With policy negotiations between Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the Greens complete, the chatter among politicians has turned to a favourite topic: cabinet positions.

The two larger parties will get six full cabinet positions each, and the Greens will get three. A fine balance will also need to be struck between the importance of the ministries each party gets, as well as the actual numbers.

Well-placed sources insist the allocation of jobs has not been fully thrashed out between Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan and policy responsibilities are also set to be reallocated across departments.

Yet the intense speculation – usually wrong, as what follows below probably will be too - is under way.

With Martin first up as taoiseach, Paschal Donohoe may remain as minister for finance. In such a scenario, Fianna Fáil’s Michael McGrath would become minister for public expenditure, potentially swapping with Donohoe when Fine Gael takes the taoiseach’s office in December 2022.

Final Draft Programme For Government

Calleary and justice

There is also chat that Fine Gael leader Leo Varadkar, while tánaiste, could take over a beefed-up Department of Jobs. Simon Coveney, the Fine Gael deputy leader, could remain in situ in the Department of Foreign Affairs. Fianna Fáil deputy leader Dara Calleary could expect an equally heavyweight portfolio, such as the Department of Justice.

Simon Harris’s strong performance during the Covid-19 crisis should ensure he remains at cabinet and the Wicklow TD would probably take a move to the Department of Education.

Heather Humphreys is also likely to remain in cabinet and Helen McEntee and Hildegarde Naughton are tipped within Fine Gael for promotion to either a full cabinet post or a super junior slot.

Some Fianna Fáil TDs say the party wants the departments of housing and health to deliver a domestic policy agenda. Barry Cowen of Offaly has held the housing brief in recent years while Darragh O’Brien from Dublin Fingal is the current housing spokesman.

Rabbitte and cabinet

Galway East TD Anne Rabbitte is seen by Fianna Fáil TDs as highly likely to make cabinet, although first-time Kerry TD Norma Foley is highly rated.

Meath East’s Thomas Byrne, the education spokesman who recently called for the Leaving Cert to be cancelled, will also be in contention. Limerick’s Niall Collins, an early advocate of same-sex marriage and repealing the Eighth Amendment, is one of the few experienced Fianna Fáil TDs with strong liberal credentials, and will argue for the mid-west to be represented, particularly now the Shannon LNG project will not proceed.

Fianna Fáil will need a Dublin cabinet minister and O’Brien will be vying with Dublin Bay South’s Jim O’Callaghan (suggestions he could be attorney general are dismissed by senior party figures ) and Jack Chambers, who grew in stature throughout the negotiations, for that slot.

Eamon Ryan is tipped to take on a new department that may encompass transport, planning and climate change for the Greens and deputy leader Catherine Martin will also expect a substantial portfolio. Dublin West’s Roderic O’Gorman may get the final Green seat at the Cabinet table.

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