Ten new advisers to junior ministers to be appointed despite previous Government decision

Ministers of State told in summer they would have to share a pool of staff

The Cabinet has agreed to appoint of 10 new advisers for junior ministers after they “made the case” for the appointments.

Previously, Ministers of State were told that they would have to share a pool of advisers, which caused consternation amongst some.

Sources say a number of junior ministers “made the case” for the hiring of extra advisers and there is now an agreement to hire 10 such staff.

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee defended the move on Tuesday afternoon.


“There are ministers that are making decisions that impact on thousands if not hundreds of thousands of people’s lives. It was decided that these appointments will be made a number of weeks ago,” Ms McEntee said. She was speaking at an event in Dublin city centre aimed at raising awareness of the damage fireworks can cause.

There are 18 Ministers of State in the current administration, 10 of whom will get advisers.

They are: Minister of State for Older People and Mental Health Mary Butler; Minister of State for Disability Anne Rabbitte; Minister of State for European Affairs Thomas Byrne; Minister of State at the Department of Finance Sean Fleming and Minister of State for the Office of Public Works (OPW) Patrick O’Donovan.

Also getting advisers are: Minister of State for Special Education and Inclusion Josepha Madigan; Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Businesses Damien English; Minister of State for Research and Development Martin Heydon; Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform Malcolm Noonan and Minister of State for Community Development and Charities Joe O’Brien.

In August, Cabinet Ministers agreed that newly-appointed junior ministers would not be given their own special advisers despite internal resistance from some Ministers of State.

The system which applied to the previous government, involving pooled advisers, was to remain in place.

At that time, some Ministers of State said privately that they were promised their own special advisers, and that they did not believe a pooled system will work.

The pay for special advisers is between €87,325 and € 101,114 for those who work with senior and “super-junior” Ministers who attend Cabinet, and between €67,659 and €78,816 for advisers to Ministers of State.

More to follow

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times