Ireland’s new government under Simon Harris

Ireland’s new government under Simon Harris

Ireland's  new Taoiseach has chosen the ministers who will run the country, at least until the next election — which must be held by May 2025

IRELAND’S new government under Simon Harris has now got down to business to grapple with the problems facing Ireland, from housing to  climate change, and from the defence of the nation to the nation's response to the Middle East crisis.

Harris formally became Taoiseach last week after a vote was passed in the Dáil by 88 votes to 69.

Former Taoiseach Micheál Martin TD (Fianna Fáil) remains Tánaiste under the terms of the coalition deal, with Eamon Ryan of the Green Party remains Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communication

Neale Richmond will vacate his current position as Minister of State in the Department of Enterprise and take on the finance portfolio. As the new Minister of State at the Department of Finance, with responsibility for Financial Services, Credit Unions and Insurance, he has one of the big jobs in the government.

Richmond is a strong supporter of Harris and was one of the first TDs to publicly endorse him for the position of Fine Gael leader.

Colm Burke has become the new Minister of State with responsibility for Public Health, Well Being and the National Drugs Strategy. This is another tough assignment, that will require all the political and administrative acumen that Burke can muster.

Fianna Fáil Minister of State Thomas Byrne from Co. Meath has become the Minister of State for the Gaeltacht.

Kieran O’Donnell becomes Minister of State with responsibility for Office of Public Works

To the surprise of some, Helen McEntee has stayed on as Justice Minister. There had been speculation that her position was at risk. But she stays in position, with Harris reiterating his pledge to focus on “law and order”.,

Minister for Public Expenditure Paschal Donohoe and Minister for Social Protection Heather Humphreys also held on to their government posts.