Cabinet Reshuffle

Enda and Joan have finally decided who is in and who is out

Genevieve Carbery Fri, Jul 11
LIVE: Cabinet Reshuffle

Sort by:

  • Latest first
  • Oldest first
  • This event has now ended
  • 10:04

    It’s Cabinet Reshuffle day at last. Hooray. After days of endless guessing Enda and Joan will reveal their new dream team.

    Within the next couple of hours the Taoiseach will announce details in the Dail – will there be Rabbitte on the menu? Will the good doctor be moved from health? Is Big Phil flying off to Brussels leaving those pesky water charges behind him?

    Then it’s off to meet Michael D for the seals of office, a few cucumber sambos and some family snaps for the history books and back to the Dail for approval of the new Government.

    Genevieve Carbery here for the duration, you can contact me on twitter @genevievecarber

  • 10:11

    After a frustrating few days of silence for political correspondents the party sources are back and the spinning and leaking like a sieve has begun.
    What does a Government do when trying to keep as many people as possible happy? It creates that hybrid beast of a super junior.
    A new super junior minister for jobs is expected to sit at the Cabinet table after today’s reshuffle (replacing Labour’s super junior for housing). This strange creature gets to sit at the table but doesn’t get to vote – like going to a dinner party and watching everyone else eat.
    Labour is expected to take over the Department of the property tax and water tax, Environment as Big Phil departs for Brussels. A win for Labour (giving it more control for housing, a priority for Joan Burton) or a poisoned chalice?


  • 10:15
    We have it straight from the horse's mouth, well the Government Twitter account, the reshuffle will be announced in the Dail at midday while the seals of office will be presented by Michael D at 3pm (nothing about cucumber sandwiches though).

  • 10:26
    A watched phone never rings.... calls are going out right now...maybe they'll use Snapchat to try and keep up with the youth?  
  • 10:29
    Well dressed-TDs in the Dail canteen. Phones in their sweaty palms beside their t-cups no doubt as they wait.  
  • 10:33
    New deputy leader Alan Kelly may have to fill big Phil's boots. With Fine Gael getting the Foreign Affairs portfolio - I wonder who could they want to send very far away?
  • 10:48
    "I want to take this opportunity to thank all members of the house for their kindness and cooperation over the last three and a half years" Minister for Water Charges and Property Tax Phil Hogan told the Dail in the past few minutes. Sounds like he has his bags packed and under his seat for Brussels already. #byebyebigphil  
  • 10:50
    And with that.... I wonder who it will be, the suspense is unbearable.  
  • 10:52
    Looks like Kerryman and Minister for Arts Jimmy Deenihan may be out
  • 10:54
    Maybe Pat now wishes he had done a Ruairi and gone with his day in the reflective sun before being pushed?
  • 11:07
    Alan Kelly - Labour's new deputy leader and current Minister of State for Public Transport is going to be the new Minister for Water Charges , sorry Environment, according to Fiach Kelly.  
  • 11:14
    So Leo Varadkar is moving to a new department. It's not going to be environment but where?  So that also means a new Minister for Transport....
  • 11:29

    So it looks like Leo Varadkar may be getting health. Harder to have lots of positive publicity in this role - what will it do for his rising career?  

    And current junior minister for housing Jan O'Sullivan taking over from Ruairi Quinn in education- that's one more woman in a senior Cabinet post. The gender breakdown will be interesting to watch.  

  • 11:34
    So we have another doctor as minister for health as Leo Varadkar is to get the position. Will he be Dr Leo from now on like his predecessor Dr James Reilly (and will Reilly drop the Dr honorific for his new post?)?
  • 11:44
  • 11:51
    So that's Gerald Nash as Super Junior for jobs then? Who is Gerald Nash you might ask? He's Labour's Louth East Meath TD and former mayor of Drogheda. He is vice chair of the Labour Parliamentary Party who sits on three Dáil Committees: Environment, Culture and the Gaeltacht Committee; Foreign Affairs Committee; Public Accounts Committee.
  • 11:58
    Still business as usual in the Dail with only a handful of TDs present. We may have to wait a little while yet.  
  • 12:05
    So the biggest possible controversy of the day has been averted. There was talk of no Angelus being played on RTE Radio One/Today with Sean O'Rourke because of the reshuffle. Can you imagine the outrage? But at 12.02 they broadcast it. #Phew  All is right with the world again.  
  • 12:13
    So Paschal Donohoe may replace Leo Varadkar in Transport- a fair jump for someone who replaced Lucinda Creighton as junior minister for Europe only a year ago. James Reilly may be going to children (currently occupied by Charlie Flanagan recently appointed). That would be considered a fair fall for the good doctor.
  • 12:14
    The  drip drip continues. Charlie Flanagan may be given the task of repairing our shredded image abroad post Garthgate! Bruton looks like staying in jobs portfolio.  
  • 12:20
    Mary Hanafin has said James Reilly is an "unlikely" minister for foreign affairs. "He is not I believe a fit for that job", she told RTE. Ouch. There was speculation he might go to Iveagh house but there is now speculation he would go to the Department of Children.  
  • 12:23
    Will we have another woman promoted to a senior cabinet post?   Yes that is the Dun Laoghaire FG TD who made waves on her first day as TD in 2011 by driving her campaign car onto the Dail plinth in error.
  • 12:28
    Oh lordy more delays in Leinster House. Now it's expected to be 1pm. This is getting as drawn-out as a Garth Brooks press conference.  
  • 12:33

    While we wait for the shuffling in of the reshuffled cabinet here's details of the formal photos we can expect later today, we just don't know who exactly will be in them!  

    1. President and Taoiseach signing Warrant of Appointment in State Reception Room.
    2. Each new appointee receiving Seal of Office from President. Photo of each appointee with President and Taoiseach in the State Reception Room.
    3. Family photo of the Government Cabinet in the State Reception Room
    4. Photo of the Government Cabinet seated in the State Dining  Room in advance of Cabinet meeting


  • 12:38
    Looks like Alex While - who got less than 25% in the Labour leadership contest - will be given a cabinet post to replace Rabbitte in Communications.  
  • 12:54
    Another woman for a senior cabinet post!

  • 12:59
    Here we go. Dail suspended till 1.02pm. Stand back and see if all the speculation has been correct.  
  • 13:07
    So the Dail is back - setting up the mechanics for the reshuffle announcement - speaking time for opposition politicians etc. Aengus O'Snodaigh says "we're sitting on a Friday and we don't mind that" but wants more time - ah sure it's very decent of him to come in on a Friday .  
  • 13:15
  • 13:23
    Here's the first semi-official confirmation - but will the confirmer herself be a Minister?
  • 13:26
    Dail now suspended till 1.40pm. This is having more twists and turns and delays and drama than a Garth Brooks concert.  
  • 13:45

    Here we go Cabinet taking its seats


  • 13:46
    Pat Rabbitte , Quinn, Gilmore, Deenihan, Hogan resignations all accepted.
  • 13:46

    Phil Hogan Ireland's next EU Commissioner, Jed Nash - Super Junior for Jobs.  

  • 13:47
    Jimmy Deenihan in Taoiseach Dept as Minister state for Diaspora
  • 13:47
    Coveney  defence and ag,  
  • 13:48
    Donohoe - transport, health - Varadkar, Arts Gaeltacht - Heather Humphreys, Alex White- communications
  • 13:48
    Charlie Flanagan - Foreign Affairs
  • 13:49
  • 13:50
    Also Jan O'Sullivan confirmed in Education
  • 13:50
    Enda Kenny praising the outgoing ministers.  
  • 13:53
    So to reiterate the five new full ministers will be  Heather Humphries in Arts, Pashcal Donohoe in Transport, Jan O'Sullivan in Education, Alan  Kelly in Environment, Alex White in Communications as well as the super junior for jobs Jed Nash,
  • 13:54
    Enda giving a speech to boost the troops. He has managed to use his favourite phrase "Best Small Country in the World to Do Business"  
  • 14:03
    Here's an excellent chart showing the moves that has been this day of musical chairs.  
  • 14:07
    Joan Burton outlining her priorities. She has a terrible frog in her throat. The ghost of Pat Rabbitte.  
  • 14:11
  • 14:12
    Joan Burton announcing a Garda review, a lobbyist bill and electoral commission
  • 14:12
    She confirms that the marriage equality referendum is still on the Government's agenda for spring.  
  • 14:13
    James Reilly wasn't mentioned in Enda Kenny's speech but he is in the official transcript. And he is going to the Department of Children.  
  • 14:16
    Here's your new Minister for the Environment. Dealing with the headache of water charges and property tax may cause him to smile a bit less quite soon.  
  • 14:19
    A deflated ex-minister Pat Rabbitte says he had a "20 second exchange" with Joan Burton this morning. "I had every intention of standing for re-election but i suppose if you're deemed to old to serve in cabinet at this juncture that puts it in a different light...but I'm not going to make that decision now"
  • 14:22

    To clarify the new super-junior minister title in full, it's a mouthful (I needs a 2 metre brass nameplate for the door I think)

    Deputy Jed Nash Minister of State attending the Government and Minister of State at the Department of Jobs,Enterprise and Innovation with responsibility for Business and Employment.

  • 14:24
    Here's the kicker in Enda Kenny's motivation for the troops speech:

    There’s a chance now for change a welcome and overdue change so we’re not  just gritting our teeth keeping the head down and surviving but that we  can get to live our lives.

  • 14:30
    Deputy Reilly has a "right to be annoyed" for being the scapegoat for what were Government policies, Fianna Fail's Michael Martin tells the Dail of the deposed health minister and new children's minister.  
  • 14:35

    Among the initiatives announced by Joan Burton in her speech were a  Low Pay Commission  to make recommendations to the Government each year on minimum wage.  

    "The social recovery starts with jobs, because secure work is the single best protection against poverty..... But they must be jobs that pay decent wages, where people don’t need to fall back on welfare,"she said.  

  • 14:40

    Gerry Adams is responding now -the new cabinet you have announced is no different in outlook from the previous or from FF predecessors.  

    He says the North was not part of priorities outlined by the Government and it needed to be.  

    He is also rubbing in his party's success in recent elections: The people aren't stupid. That's why the Government parties did so badly in the recent elections, he says.

  • 14:44
    The number of female full Cabinet ministers has doubled - it has gone from two to four - now a quarter of those sitting around the table. Two of the women are Fine Gael (Heather Humphreys and Frances Fitzgerald) and two LAbour (Joan Burton and Jan O'Sullivan).  
  • 14:51
    Is it a bird, is it a plane, no it's a super-junior minister - Gerry Adams says to Louth constituency colleague, newly appointed Gerald Nash, to laughs.  
  • 14:53

    So who is our new Minister for Arts? Well she's piano-playing so that seems to fit with the portfolio. Heather Humphreys was elected for Monaghan in 2011, she  has being playing the piano since she was six, her first job was in Butlins in Mosney (not as a red coat but as a waitress) - according to her FG profile.  

  • 14:56
    I notice a purge of my former comrades in the Democratic Left and Workers’ Party in what might be a reverse takeover –  John Halligan, independent TD tells the Dail as the technical group gets its speaking time.  
  • 14:58
    If you were wondering about Labour's choice to take up the Environment portfolio (deputy leader Alan Kelly)- Joan Burton outlined it when she said:  

    Housing will be the number one priority of the Department of the Environment for the remainder of this Government’s term.  We will set in train a construction programme to triple the number of  houses built to 25,000 a year by 2020.

  • 15:01
    Paschal's only delighted with his new bit of bling.  
  • 15:02
    Here's Leo Varadkar's response to his promotion:  
  • 15:08

    Minister Varadkar has been moved from a very successful ministry into a swamp that would intimidate anyone at all - but I wish him well - says Independent TD Shane Ross. He questions the "spin and timing" of the announcement so that it doesn't coincide with more important things like concerts.

    He wonders what they have been doing for the past few days.  He says everything in the speeches had already been announced.  

  • 15:17

    This has been the worst performance I’ve ever heard (from Opposition) says Enda Kenny in response to speeches in the Dail “Deputy Martin I don’t know who wrote your speech – it was classic stuff you’d hear from back of trailer down in Newport on a wet afternoon when nobody wants to listen.” Ouch!

  • 15:20
  • 15:23
    Fianna Fail “used to have 20 ministers to keep the temperatures down. But people understand choices have to be made” – Enda Kenny on those not picked for Cabinet posts.  
  • 15:32
    Lots of handshaking and congratulating of Ministers during the Dail vote.  
    Lots of handshaking and congratulating of Ministers during the Dail vote.  
  • 15:38
    Will this be the team to turn Labour's electoral fortunes around?  
  • 15:41
    A big handshake between Joan Burton and Leo Varadkar in the Dail chamber as the vote on the motion for nomination of Cabinet contiunes.  
  • 15:46
    Time for Ministers to make their way to Aras an Uachtarain where Michael D Higgins will present the seals of office (and maybe they'll get some cucumber sandwiches). Dail voted 93 in favour and 33 against new Cabinet  
  • 16:05
    While there are four female senior Cabinet ministers - there are  five women around the Cabinet table - AG Marie Whelan. Campaign group Women for Election describes it as "the most gender diverse government in Irish history."
  • 16:07
    Here are the seals of office awaiting the arrival of the Ministers at Aras an Uachtarain. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
    Here are the seals of office awaiting the arrival of the Ministers at Aras an Uachtarain. Photograph: Cyril Byrne
  • 16:08
    Watch out for a bus heading towards Phoenix Park - Dublin folks- it seems that's the way the Cabinet is travelling.  
  • 16:11
    A beaming Paschal Donohoe leads the way onto the bus. I'm not sure he's stopped smiling since he got the news.  
  • 16:16
    While the Ministers zoom their way across the city in their mini-bus, here's something for you to peruse.  
  • 16:22
    Ministers who changed portfolio include:  
    Leo Varadkar - from transport to health
    James Reilly - from health to children
    Simon Coveney - who is getting defence along with his existing agriculture portfolio
    Charlie Flanagan - from Children to Foreign Affairs.

  • 16:23
  • 16:29
    Latest sighting of the Team Jenda Bus (Joan and Enda - too soon?) is along the canal accompanied by a Garda escort en route to the Aras.  
  • 16:31
    Existing ministers are at the Aras already - those not changing department
  • 16:31
    New Ministers have arrived including those changing portfolio. They are standing in line in the State reception room,
  • 16:32
    President Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny have arrived into the State reception room to present the seals of office.  
  • 16:33
    President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Enda Kenny have signed the warrant of office - the second time to have a new Cabinet for Taoiseach Enda Kenny.  
  • 16:35
    New seal of office for Minister for Agriculture and Defence Simon Coveney. Next James Reilly - new Minister for Children.
  • 16:36
    Now Leo Varadkar gets his seal of office for Department for Health and next Charlie Flananagan new Minister for Foreign Affairs. This is followed by Limerick TD Jan O'Sullivan - new Minister for Education and Skills
  • 16:37
    Labour's deputy leader Alan Kelly is next to recieve his silver seal - Minister for Tourism followed by defeated Labour leadership candidate Alex White.  
  • 16:38
    A backbencher up until today, Heather Humphreys recevies the seal of office as new Minister for Arts from the former Minsiter for Arts Michael D Higgins. Also given seals Paschal Donohoe (Transport) and Ged Nash (Minister of State for Jobs)
  • 16:39
    All seals are now distributed. Next there will be a "family photograph" and the first Cabinet meeting.  
  • 16:50
  • 16:52
    And the first Cabinet meeting is underway.  
  • 17:00
    FG backbencher now minister, Heather Humphreys' promotion to the Arts portfolio has caused the most headscratching today. Our Arts Editor Laurence Mackin says that while her  appointment was met with puzzlement by many, the saving grace here is that there’s a department to run at all.
  • 17:07
    Next on the agenda is the Statement of Government priorities. That willl come later after the Cabinet meeting.  
  • 17:15
  • 17:16
    New education minister is "honoured" to acccept the position.  
  • 17:24
    That's a wrap from the Cabinet reshuffle live blog folks. Thanks for reading.  
  • 17:27
    And to finish off the day here's a video analysis from our political team: