Helen McEntee expecting her first child

Justice Minister is set to be first Cabinet Minister to give birth while in office in the history of the State
Helen McEntee expecting her first child

Justice Minister Helen McEntee announced her pregnancy on Instagram . Picture: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee has confirmed that she is pregnant and expecting her first child next year.

A spokesperson for the Minister said: “Minister McEntee and her husband Paul are delighted to be expecting their first child, due in May 2021.”

Ms McEntee is likely to be the first Minister at Cabinet to give birth while in office in the history of the State. 

She made the announcement via her Instagram account this morning.

She and her long-term partner Paul Hickey, a former parliamentary assistant to one-time Minister for Education and Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh, have been married since 2017.

How her maternity leave will work is as yet unknown - at present elected representatives in Ireland are not entitled to such leave.

The Minister took over her portfolio at the ascension of the new coalition government last June. Prior to that, she served as Minister for European Affairs in the previous administration.

She was first elected to Dail Eireann in 2013, securing the seat in Meath East left vacant following her father Shane’s tragic suicide in 2012.

In recent weeks she became embroiled in a controversy over the appointment of former Attorney General Seamus Woulfe to the Supreme Court after she made the sole recommendation of Mr Woulfe to Cabinet.

It subsequently emerged that at least three other judges had also expressed their interest in the position, while confusion surrounded whether or not Ms McEntee had informed Cabinet of same.

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