Coalition leaders yet to discuss Cabinet reshuffle, 10 days from switch of top jobs in Government

Greens likely to retain current positions while Varadkar and Martin due to take on new briefs alongside leadership jobs swap

Coalition leaders have not yet held discussions on the reassignment of Government departments between parties 10 days before the historic switching of the most senior jobs in Government is due to take place on December 17th.

Mr Varadkar told a private Fine Gael meeting that as previously agreed he will switch roles with Taoiseach Micheál Martin and the roles of Minister for Finance Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath will also be swapped.

He said the Green Party have indicated they will retain their current positions.

Green leader Eamon Ryan currently holds the environment and transport briefs, deputy leader Catherine Martin is Minister for Tourism, Media and Sport and Roderic O’Gorman is minister for Children and Integration.


Much of the pre-reshuffle speculation has centred on junior ministries with the vast majority of senior ministers considered likely to remain in Cabinet.

There will however be some changes in who holds certain portfolios with Mr Varadkar due to exit the Enterprise Department and Mr Martin set to take on a new job, with the Department of Foreign Affairs seen as a likely new role by many.

Sources said Galway East TD Ciarán Cannon told the Fine Gael meeting that Minister Heather Humphreys should be kept in the Rural Development brief.

She also holds Social Protection as well as Justice, the latter job since Minister Helen McEntee went on maternity leave.

There have been reports that some in Fianna Fáil are keen to get the Rural Development portfolio for one of their TDs.

Mr Cannon is understood to have argues that Ms Humphreys has been “superb” in the job with a “deep understanding” of the needs of rural communities.

Mr Varadkar said he had listened to his party colleagues regarding the make-up of the new Cabinet and he will take those views on-board.

He also said the re-election of Me Donohoe as President of the Eurogroup is an “important development” for Ireland and “testament to his work in the role.”

Separately a number of Fine Gael TDs from around the country raised concern that some hotels and other accommodation providers are waiting months for delayed payments from the State for accommodating refugees from Ukraine.

The Irish Times understands that Wexford TD Paul Kehoe, Brendan Griffin from Kerry and Dún Laoghaire TD Jennifer Carroll MacNeill made contributions on the matter.

Sources said Mr Griffin told the meeting the Government had let such businesses down and some were left waiting for several months for large payments.

He said they face having their credit rating ruined and he was aware of two people “on the verge of bankruptcy”.

Separately, Mr Varadkar told colleagues that the establishment of a statutory home care scheme will be a priority for the Government in 2023.

At Fianna Fáil’s parliamentary party meeting the Taoiseach Mr Martin said the country is continuing to see positive economic growth and strong employment figures with over 2.5 million people at work.

He also said foreign direct investment is “very strong” again this year.

Mr Martin spoke of a proposed change to planning laws designed to speed up the delivery of social and affordable homes on state-owned land which was approved by Cabinet on Wednesday.

He also outlined how the Government had signed off on the next steps in the development of new elective hospitals in Cork and Galway and approved a new hospital consultant contract among other decisions taken by ministers on Wednesday.

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn

Cormac McQuinn is a Political Correspondent at The Irish Times