Helen McEntee becomes first minister to give birth while in cabinet

Helen McEntee becomes first minister to give birth while in cabinet

MINISTER for Justice Helen McEntee set a number of records yesterday when she gave birth to a baby boy.

McEntee, 34, is the first serving Irish cabinet minister to be pregnant, take maternity leave and give birth – all while juggling the responsibilities of high office.

Topping off the unprecedented occasion, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has announced that she will be given six months maternity leave to care for her new-born baby, who was delivered last night in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin.

The baby boy is healthy and came outweighing 7lbs 8ozs, a spokesperson for the minister has confirmed.

While on leave, Ms McEntee will remain a member of Government, but her brief will be taken on by Minister Heather Humphreys, TD for Cavan, Monaghan, and North Meath.

Ms Humpreys will also remain in her other two positions, as Social Protection and Rural Affairs Minister.

Ministers James Browne and Hildegarde Naughton will also take on a significant share of the brief.

Taoiseach Micheal Martin welcomed the news, tweeting: "Congratulations @HMcEntee and Paul on the birth of your wonderful baby boy.

"A time of great joy for you all. Enjoy! Wishing you every happiness, always."

Ms McEntee and her husband Paul Hickey first announced the pregnancy in December, tweeting that the baby was due in May.

The Meath East TD began her maternity leave on Tuesday.