Yesterday I posted about the two free poistions on Cabinet, well none of the Junior Ministers I mentioned moved up. Tom Kitt did move back to the backbenches though! Typical, I mention a prediction on this site and the opposite happens!
The new Ministers are Batt O’Keefe, TD for Cork South West, who becomes Minister for Education, he previously served as Minister for Housing and Urban Renewal. The other is Brendan Smith TD for Cavan-Monaghan, who becomes Agriculture Minister having been Minister of State at the Department of Children since 2007.
Mary Coughlan moves from Agriculture to Enterprise, Trade and Emplyoment as well as becoming Tánaiste. She is seen as a key Biffo ally. She is the second female Tánaiste in the history of the state. The first being Mary Harney who in 1997 held these two exact posts in cabinet.
Brian Lenihan becomes Finance Minister, arguably the most powerful post in the land. He was previously the MInister for Justice. Another Biffo ally. Recently brough up to full cabinet after the last General Election, he was previously the ‘super’ junior Minister for Children. A promotion was in offing, it was down between him and Coughlan for this post with Martin being an outside bet
Dermot Ahern moves from Foreign Affairs to Justice. This is an interesting move, but I dont think we will see Civil Unions any faster under this Ahern. He proved to be an excellent Foreign Affairs Minister, but Justice should be an interesting challenge for the Soliciter.
Martin Cullen gets Arts, Sport & Tourism have previously serving as Social & Family Affairs. Cullen is a former PD’er, and has served in a number of cabinet positions since 1997.
Mary Hanafin moves from Education to Social & Family Affairs. Hanafin got a lot of stick for not supporting ABA education for children with Autism, will she do better here?
Mícheál Martin moves from Enterprise to Foreign Affairs. Another surprise move for the Minister most remembered for the Smoking ban. An interesting poistion, the question is wil the foreign diplomats understand his Cork accent when he gets annoyed.
Pat Carey becomes government chief whip, this is a promotion from the back benches. He was serving as Minister of State at the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs (with special responsibility for Drugs Strategy and Community Affairs).
Noel Dempsey (Transport), Éamon Ó Cuív (Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs), Willie O’Dea (Defence), Mary Harney (Health), John Gormley (Environment, Heritage & Local Government) and Eamon Ryan (Communications, Energy & Natural Resources ) all stay in situ. Which is a pity has Harney should have gone.
So what do ye think of the new cabinet?