Taoiseach concedes Roderic O'Gorman has 'extraordinary workload' amid reshuffle speculation

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has already indicated Mr O'Gorman's workload, which includes handling the response to  the war in Ukraine, as well as direct provision, the mother and baby home legacy, and childcare, should be examined in the context of the reshuffle
Taoiseach concedes Roderic O'Gorman has 'extraordinary workload' amid reshuffle speculation

There is speculation some of Roderic O'Gorman's responsibilities will be reallocated as part of the upcoming Cabinet re-shuffle. Picture: Leah Farrell / RollingNews.ie

The Taoiseach has acknowledged that Children's Minister Roderic O'Gorman has an "extraordinary workload" amid speculation some of his responsibilities will be reallocated as part of the upcoming Cabinet re-shuffle.

The three coalition leaders are due to sit down next week to discuss changes at both senior and junior ministerial levels after the Taoiseach and Tánaiste rotate positions on December 17.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan has already indicated Mr O'Gorman's workload, which includes handling the response to the war in Ukraine, as well as direct provision, the mother and baby home legacy, and childcare, should be examined in the context of the reshuffle.

It has also been reported that Fianna Fáil Minister of State Anne Rabbitte is now pushing to be made a junior minister within Mr O'Gorman's department, with responsibility for integration and the Ukrainian response.

Asked about Mr O'Gorman's workload, the Taoiseach said: "He has a huge workload, he has an extraordinary workload of that there's no doubt and it's very diverse.

I've just been discussing disability services this morning, which is moving from Health to Children also, so it's a very diverse department with a whole range of to be fair, and I think Roderic has done very well."

Joking he had read reshuffle speculation in the Irish Examiner, he added: "The two party leaders and I have agreed that we wouldn't comment publicly until we met, and we will be meeting very shortly now, to discuss the transition. So I'm not going to comment or speculate on any sort of potential ministerial shifts."

Mr Martin said during Government formation talks, the Green Party had lobbied to have the areas of direct provision and integration taken out of the Department of Justice and placed into Children.

But he added that "no one anticipated that we'd have this terrible war in Ukraine, which has been so horrible to the people of Ukraine and has resulted in the largest humanitarian disaster since World War II."

As a result, he said the issue requires a whole-of-Government approach.

Separately, Mr Martin said he believes the gardaí should remain unarmed apart from some very specific units.

"I think it has worked historically, across the country, if you look at other jurisdictions, it doesn't always have the kind of desired effect in terms of policing.

Speaking in Longford town, he added: "It's a policy matter that would be for Government in the first instance, it wouldn't be a matter for the Garda Commissioner in terms of policy."

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