Coalition denies row over Cabinet posts led to delay

THE Government has denied that a row over Cabinet positions was the reason for a delay in Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, revealing his new ministerial line up to the Dáil yesterday evening.

The Government requested and was granted an adjournment of 30 minutes in the Dáil when Mr Kenny was due to come in to reveal his Cabinet.

But a spokesperson insisted this was down to Mr Kenny’s tight schedule yesterday when he attended Áras an Uachtaráin to receive his seal of office after being voted Taoiseach in the Dáil.

Just two women and two TDs under 50 will sit around the Cabinet table which is largely composed of safe and experienced long standing TDs.

Labour’s former finance spokesperson, Joan Burton, was overlooked for a share of the finance portfolio which was handed to her colleague, Brendan Howlin who is Public Expenditure and Reform Minister.

As expected, former Fine Gael leader, Michael Noonan, will be Finance Minister. “Whatever can be questioned about Government policy, no one can question our mandate as we set out on the long road ahead,” he told the Dáil.

Ms Burton was given the position of Social Reform Minister and is one of five Labour TDs to get a share of the 14 ministerial posts.

Party leader, Eamon Gilmore will take the positions of Tánaiste and Foreign Affairs Minister, which will also take in responsibility for Trade.

Ruairi Quinn, who served as Finance Minister in the 1990s, was appointed to Education while another former Labour leader, Pat Rabbitte, was appointed to Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.

Mr Kenny chose to appoint three TDs who attempted to heave against him unsuccessfully last June, Richard Bruton, Leo Varadkar and Simon Coveney.

He appointed those loyal to him to top positions including James Reilly, now Health Minister, Alan Shatter, who is Justice Minister, and Phil Hogan, given the Environment ministry.

Former Fine Gael leader in the Seanad, Frances Fitzgerald will be Minister for Children which moves out of the Department of Health and into a full ministerial role.

The Cabinet travelled to Áras an Uachtaráin by minibus last night for their seals of office, breaking the tradition of chauffeur-driven cars for all ministers.

The incoming administration was warned it would get a rude awakening by the Fianna Fáil leader, Micheál Martin who was a minister for 14 years under the previous government.

Mr Martin said Mr Gilmore faced a “very challenging” task but that he will find “many ready allies” in Europe who are “informed on Irish issues and supportive our goals.”

He suggested Mr Gilmore might have to eat his words about president of the European Central Bank, Jean Claude Trichet. “He will quickly discover that it is not Labour’s way or Frankfurt’s way and he will learn that Mr Trichet is more than a ‘mere civil servant’.”

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