Ireland’s new Taoiseach Micheál Martin revealed his new-look Cabinet yesterday, with a shake-up of Ministers leaving the North West without government representation.
As outgoing Minister for Education Joe McHugh loses a seat, Donegal will go without a voice at the table in this government.
Thank-you @LeoVaradkar for the opportunity to serve in Cabinet.
We achieved a lot.
I wish the new Government every success.
An rud is annamh is iontach.
— Joe McHugh (@McHughJoeTD) June 27, 2020
There are no longer any senior ministers representing the west or north west of Ireland in the current government. While eight of the 15 ministers in the new Cabinet are from Dublin, the imbalance sparked anger in yesterday’s Dáil sitting.
Sligo-Leitrim TD Marian Harkin said she was extremely disappointed, telling the new Taoiseach that geography matters.
Independent Deputy Harkin said: “The most recent report from the Northern & Western Regional Assembly shows the economic gap between the regions, with lower levels of per capita investment in health infrastructure, in third level education infrastructure, in local, regional and national road infrastructure, in high value job creation and in research and development.
“A balance of development allows the regions to play to their strengths, and it’s very had for that to happen if there’s re now voices around the Cabinet table representing those regions that have spilled behind.”
Roscommon Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice told the Dáil he was baffled to see no senior ministers representing counties on the west of Ireland from Donegal to Limerick.
“There is 1.2million people there – the same as in the city of Dublin, that has eight senior Ministers,” Deputy Fitzmaurice said.
The new Cabinet:
Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin : Taoiseach
Leo Varadkar (FG) : Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.
Stephen Donnelly (FF) : Minister for Health.
Darragh O’Brien (FF) : Housing, Local Government and Heritage portfolio.
Barry Cowen (FF) : Minister for Agriculture and the Marine
Norma Foley (FF): Education Minister.
Michael McGrath (FF) : Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform.
Paschal Donohoe (FG) : Minister for Finance.
Helen McEntee (FG) : Justice Minister.
Simon Coveney (FG) : Minister for Foreign Affairs and also takes on Defence.
Eamon Ryan (Greens) : Minister for Climate Action, Communication Networks and Transport.
Catherine Martin (Greens) : Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sports and the Gaeltacht.
Roderic O’Gorman (Greens) : Minister for Children, Disability Equality and Integration.
Heather Humphreys (FG) : Minister for Social Protection, Community & Rural Development and the Islands.
Simon Harris (FG) : Minister for Higher Education, Innovation and Research.
Hildegarde Naughton (FG) : Minister of State at the Department of Climate Action attending Cabinet.
Pippa Hackett (Greens) : Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture attending Cabinet.
Dara Calleary (FF) : Government Chief Whip and Minister of State attending Cabinet.
Paul Gallagher : Attorney General.Tags: