Latest: Leo Varadkar accused of ‘undervaluing women's voices’ in junior ministries roles

Update 2.13pm: Leo Varadkar has been accused of "under valuing women's voices" after appointing less females than Enda Kenny to junior ministry roles, writes Elaine Loughlin.

While the Taoiseach has yet to formally announce his new Ministers of State, it is understood that there will be one less woman as Marcella Corcoran Kennedy has been dropped.

Green Party TD Catherine Martin said: "I think it's absolutely appalling, there are five new appointments - all male.

"You wonder what's the point in gender quotas if the Taoiseach will not promote new women? "A start to a new era with a new Taoiseach who is demoting and lessening the women's voice in the 32nd Dáil.

She said she would be raising the issue at the Oireachtas Women's Caucus in the coming weeks.

"It's quite frightening to think actually that that's how undervalued the women's voice is in a junior ministry or senior ministry," Ms Martin said.

Richard Boyd Barrett also hit out saying: "It's a sad reflection on Leo Varadkar's so-called progressive politics, when Leo Varadkar when he is less progressive than Enda Kenny, it shows you how really backwards we are going."


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has promoted a number of Fine Gael TDs to junior ministerial positions this morning but looks set to disappoint backbenchers who supported him in the leadership race, writes Juno McEnroe.

TDs have been anxiously waiting for phonecalls from the newly elected Taoiseach and a number of appointments have been made known after the early morning Cabinet meeting.

Cork South West TD Jim Daly, Carlow Kilkenny's John Paul Phelan and Galway East's Ciaran Cannon are among those to have been promoted.

Jim Daly

Mr Cannon was given the Junior Foreign Affairs position, taking over from Donegal's Joe McHugh.

It is understood that Mr Daly may have been appointed the Junior Minister for Mental Health.

Mr Phelan has been given the role of Junior minister in the department of housing, where he will work alongside senior minister Eoghan Murphy as well as oversee local government.

Elsewhere, there are suggestions Limerick's Patrick O'Donovan has got one of the two Junior Finance posts while there is also speculation that Clare's Pat Breen has been reappointed as a Junior Minister.

Patrick O'Donovan

It is also thought that Galway's Sean Kyne has been promoted.

Mr Varadkar is personally ringing TDs and ministers to tell them of his decision after the fill list of names was brought to Cabinet this morning.

His advisors are not expecting major changes to be made to the line, which will lead to some disappointment among those expecting jobs.

It is also unclear what will happen to Junior Ministers who backed leadership election rival Simon Coveney and whether they will be kept on.

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