Notes on the the formation of the Government of the 30th Dáil

An Taoiseach: Bertie Ahern, Fianna Fail, Dublin Central.
There was no surprises when he was elected Taoiseach with a comfortable majority, 89 votes to 76. He stays on but more importantly as anointed his successor.

An Tánaiste and Minister for Finance: Brain Cowen, Fianna Fail, Laois-Offaly.
Cowen continues on in the important ministry and definitely is now seen as Bertie’s replacement. If the economy does suffer, the problems will fall at his door though. Stamp Duty reform will be a major project here.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries & Food: Mary Coughlan, Fianna Fail, Donegal South West.
Coughlan stays where she is but also now has to represent fisheries. This will be important as the fisheries industry here is not getting a good deal here in Europe. Maybe with her experience with fighting for farmers she can do the same for our fishermen.

Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism: Séamus Brennan, Fianna Fail, Dublin South.
Brennan takes a diagonal (downwards) from Social Welfare minister to this portfolio. Not the most exciting one! Though it could be interesting with the Olympics next year.

Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources: Eamon Ryan, Green Party, Dublin South.
The first new face in this cabinet, holding quite an interesting portfolio. Damien seams happy with his appointment. This protfolio has also changed its name, marine is gone (cant have the greens in charge of that!!! ) and energy is in the title, first time we’ve had a ministry with that, and its great a green minister is in charge of it!

Minister for Community, Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs: Éamon Ó Cuív, FF, Galway West.
Ó Cuív stays in this post, which I have major problems with, not least the naming of Dingle/Daingean Uí Chúis.

Minister for Defence: Willie O’Dea, FF, Limerick East.
O’Dea stays here, Battle groups still a bit of an issue here, are we in or out???

Minister for Education & Science: Mary Hanafin, FF, Dún Laoghaire.
Hanafin stays at this post where LC reform and third level funding remain big issues.

Minister for Enterprise, Trade & Employment: Micheál Martin, FF, Cork South Central.
The only Cork minister, stays where he is. Encouraging employment and investment huge issues here.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage & Local Government: John Gormley, GP, Dublin South East.
Another new face at the cabinet table! Gormley is left with a major headache over the M3 though! An independent Electoral Commission is promised 😀 delighted along with reform of Local Government.

Minister for Foreign Affairs: Dermot Ahern, FF, Louth. Ahern stays here at Foreign Affairs where he has been a good minister, reaching ODA promises is the trick here.

Minister for Health & Children: Mary Harney, PD, Dublin Mid West.
Harney is the only PD left at the cabinet table and stays at Health. Her tenure will be shaky as she has Nurses, Consultants and Co-location to deal with.

Minister for Justice, Equality & Law Reform: Brian Lenihan Jnr, FF, Dublin West.
A promotion for Lenihan from the position of Minister of State (with special responsibility for Children). This will be a challenging portfolio to Lenihan, whos father previously held the post. Hopefully he will be a different sort of minister then McDowell and we can look forward to Civil Partnerships coming from his department.

Minister for Social & Family Affairs: Martin Cullen, FF, Waterford.
Cullen has been moved from Transport to Social Welfare. Social Welfare can be a bit of a poison chalice, if cuts have to implemented as it hurts the least well-off.

Minister for Transport & the Marine: Noel Dempsey, FF, Meath West.
Dempsey moves from communications to Transport which also gains responsibly for the Marine. This makes perfect sense as an Island nation, a lot of our transport links are by sea.

Well that is all the Ministers, John O’Donoghue beat Ruari Quinn in a vote for Ceann Comhairle. Paul Gallagher SC has been appointed Attorney General.

Edit: The Programme for Government is availible here (PDF)

Author: Stephen

Cork born and bred, proud European and Irishman. Involved in many organisations and politics. Also writes for and UCC Express.

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