New government to decide on Cabinet positions

A number of Ministers face demotion this afternoon, as Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan look to find room at the Cabinet table.
New government to decide on Cabinet positions
Sources have confirmed that Fine Gael will also retain the Finance, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Social Protection and agriculture portfolios, with Paschal Donohoe (pictured), Heather Humphreys and Simon Coveney all seen as certs to return to Cabinet.

A number of Ministers face demotion this afternoon as Micheál Martin, Leo Varadkar and Eamon Ryan look to find room at the Cabinet table.

With three ministers - Shane Ross, Regina Doherty and Katherine Zappone - not winning re-election in February, 12 members of the current government will be vying for six Fine Gael ministries.

With Mr Varadkar assured of both the Tánaiste and Minister for Jobs offices, demand for jobs will far outstrip supply and names such as Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan and Culture Minister Josepha Madigan have been mentioned by sources as potential casualties of the new Cabinet arrangement.

Sources have confirmed that Fine Gael will also retain the Finance, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Social Protection and agriculture portfolios, with Paschal Donohoe, Heather Humphreys and Simon Coveney all seen as certs to return to Cabinet.

Simon Harris is also seen as likely to be returned, though he will no longer be Minister for Health, as that role goes to Fianna Fáil.

Long-time Varadkar ally Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy is another who is likely to lose his seat at the Cabinet table, though he may be in line for a junior ministry, which will be announced tomorrow. The Housing portfolio will go to Fianna Fáil, where Darragh O'Brien is among those tipped for the job.

Agriculture and Rural Development ministers Michael Creed and Michael Ring are another two ministers who face demotion from the cabinet, along with Education Minister Joe McHugh.

There remains speculation about the future role of Richard Bruton, the Communications minister. While he had been seen as likely to be demoted, it is understood that he now may be considered to lead a senior ministry, based on his work in the formation negotiations.

For Fianna Fáil, Michael McGrath will take the Public Expenditure role, with Dara Calleary expected to join him at Cabinet.

The Green Party will nominate Eamon Ryan, Catherine Martin and Roderic O'Gorman for its roles, which will likely include a Transport/Climate Change brief as well as a new department to deal with Disabilities and Children.

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