Who are the new ministers in the Northern Ireland executive?

Alliance leader Naomi Long appointed as justice minister

Northern Ireland finally had a fully functioning local administration after the new Northern Executive was selected on Saturday afternoon.

The Ministers were appointed under the d’Hondt system where ministries are allocated based on the strength of each party.

Under the system and the numbers the DUP was entitled to three seats, Sinn Féin to two, and the SDLP and the Ulster Unionist Party to one each.

In addition to the post of First Minister and Deputy First Minister and two junior ministries there are eight Ministers in the Northern Executive.


The post of Minister of Justice did not come under the d'Hondt appointment system and was in the gift of the DUP and Sinn Féin, who agreed that Alliance leader Naomi Long would take up the post.

She was the only nominee for the position. It is planned that if and when a new Assembly is elected that the justice portfolio will be allocated under d’Hondt.

The previous justice Minister was independent unionist Claire Sugden and before that former Alliance leader David Ford.

MEP and East Belfast MLA Ms Long said she was honoured to have the support of the Assembly.

The DUP had first choice of the other departments. It appointed the DUP MEP and recently co-opted MLA for Upper Bann Diane Dodds as Minister for the Economy.

Sinn Féin had the second choice. It appointed Newry and Armagh MLA Conor Murphy as Minister for Finance.

The DUP with third choice appointed North Down MLA Peter Weir as Minister of Education.

Sinn Féin with fourth choice appointed Deirdre Hargey as Minister for Communities. She was recently selected as MLA for South Belfast, replacing former Sinn Féin Minister for Finance Máirtín Ó Muilleoir, who has stood down from frontline politics.

The SDLP with fifth choice appointed party deputy leader and North Belfast MLA Nichola Mallon as Minister for Infrastructure.

The UUP with sixth choice appointed North Antrim MLA Robin Swann as Minister of Health.

The DUP with seventh choice appointed Lagan Valley MLA Edwin Poots as Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs.

The two junior Ministers appointed were, DUP MLA for East Antrim, Gordon Lyons and Sinn Féin MLA for South Antrim, Declan Kearney.

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty

Gerry Moriarty is the former Northern editor of The Irish Times