Leader of Fine Gael since 2002, Kenny first entered the Dáil in 1975. He was formerly Minister for Tourism and Trade under John Bruton and, as the longest serving TD, he has served under three former Fine Gael Taoisigh. Prior to politics he was a promising Gaelic footballer and his half-time team talks “would have the hairs standing on your head.”
Tánaiste, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
Eamon Gilmore, Labour
Constituency: Dún Laoghaire
Labour party leader since 2007, Gilmore entered the Dáil in 1989 for the Workers’ Party. He served as junior minister at the Department for Marine in the 1994-1997 Rainbow Coalition. Prior to politics, he was President of the Union of Students in Ireland. He has effectively made the transition from the hard-left to centre-left by entering a coalition with Fine Gael but says coalition was a better option that a Fine Gael government.
Minister for Finance
Michael Noonan, Fine Gael
Constituency: Limerick City
Over three different periods since 1987, Noonan has been the party’s spokesman on Finance. As Justice Minister in 1983, he revealed that his Fianna Fáil predecessor had signed a warrant allowing the phone-tapping of two journalists to find out who was trying to oust Charlie Haughey as Taoiseach. Haughey was forced to resign nine years later when it was further revealed that he knew about the phone-tapping.
Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform
Brendan Howlin, Labour
Former Minister for Health and the Environment, Howlin was Labour’s chief whip from 1987 to 1993. He was Leas- Ceann Comhairle in the last Dáil and was a member of Labour’s negotiating team on the Programme for Government.
Minister for Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation
Richard Bruton, Fine Gael
Constituency: Dublin North Central
Former deputy leader of Fine Gael, Bruton lost that title along with his position as finance spokesman following a failed leadership bid against Enda Kenny in June 2010. He was Minister for Enterprise and Employment from 1994 to 1997. He graduated from Oxford with a masters in economics; his thesis was on Irish public debt.
Minister for Health
James Reilly, Fine Gael
Constituency: Dublin North
A GP by profession, Reilly was first elected to the Dáil in 2007. He has been outspoken about the need for radical reform in the health system and was appointed as deputy leader of the party following his support for Kenny during the failed leadership bid. He has prioritised the National Children’s Hospital and universal primary care.
Minister for Children
Frances Fitzgerald, Fine Gael
Constituency: Dublin Mid West
Leader of the Fine Gael group in the Seanad since 2007, Fitzgerald was previously a TD for the Dublin South East constituency from 1992 to 2002. Before politics she was a social worker. Fitzgerald will oversee a referendum on children’s rights and the creation of a Child Protection Agency.
Minister for Justice, Equality and Defence
Alan Shatter, Fine Gael
Constituency: Dublin South
First elected to the Dáil in 1981, Shatter was re-elected at every election until 2002. He was then re-elected in 2007. The qualified solicitor published more private member’s bills than any other opposition TD. This includes the 29th Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2009 which seeks a reduction in judicial salaries.
Minister for Social Protection
Joan Burton, Labour
Constituency: Dublin West
An accountant by profession and a former accountancy lecturer in the Dublin Institute of Technology and the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Burton has served as a junior minister in social welfare and foreign affairs. She was tipped to take responsibility for public expenditure and reform following three years as finance spokeswoman for Labour. She will have to deal with 440,000 unemployed citizens.
Minister for Education and Skills
Ruairí Quinn, Labour
Constituency: Dublin South East
Former leader of the Labour Party, Quinn was first elected to the Dáil in 1977. He was Minister for Finance from 1994-1997 and his family hails from Newry in County Down. He has said that last year’s OECD ranking for Ireland of 17 out of 39 countries was a “wake-up call” for the education system.
Minister for Transport, Sport and Tourism
Leo Varadkar, Fine Gael
Constituency: Dublin West
Former spokesman on enterprise, trade and employment, Varadkar was first elected to the Dáil in the 2007 general election. Despite supporting Richard Bruton in the heave, Varadkar remained on the front bench. The youngest Minister would do away with travel tax if airlines re-opened some routes.
Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food
Simon Coveney, Fine Gael
Constituency: Cork South Central
A former MEP for the South constituency, Coveney held the position of human rights co-ordinator for the largest political group in the European Parliament, the EPP-ED, until he was elected to the Dáil in the 2007 general election. He believes that “with positive thinking and new politics, we will succeed.”
Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Pat Rabbitte, Labour
Constituency: Dublin South West
Former President of the Union of Students in Ireland, Rabbitte was elected as TD for the Workers’ Party in 1989. He was Minister for State at the Department of Enterprise and Employment with responsibility for Commerce, Science and Technology, during the 1994-1997 Rainbow Coalition.
Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government
Phil Hogan, Fine Gael
Former Minister of State for Finance during the Rainbow Coalition, Hogan effectively saw Enda Kenny through the leadership heave in June 2010, thereby gaining a place at the top table. His main challenges will be water taxes and the Poolbeg incinerator.
Minister for Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
Jimmy Deenihan, Fine Gael
Constituency: Kerry North-Limerick West
A five-time All Ireland medal winner for Kerry, Deenihan was first elected to the Dáil in 1987. He was Minister of State for Agriculture from 1994-1997. He topped the poll in his constituency with 12,304 first-preference votes. He will have to tackle a lack of funding and repair confidence among Irish speakers.
Minister of State for Training and Skills
Fine Gael, Galway East
Department for Education and Skills
The former leader of the Progressive Democrats was nominated to Seanad Eireann by An Taoiseach following the 2007 general election and joined Fine Gael in 2009.
Minister of State for European Affairs
Fine Gael, Dublin South-East
Department of the Taoiseach
Department of Foreign Affairs
A qualified barrister, Creighton was first elected to the Dáil in 2007. Prior to that she was a political advisor and a press officer in the Health and Safety Authority.
Minister of State for Public Service Reform and the Office of Public Works
Fine Gael, Dublin South West Department of Finance
Department of Public Expenditure and Reform
Former spokesman on Northern Ireland, social and community affairs, and education, Hayes supported Richard Bruton’s leadership challenge to Enda Kenny and subsequently lost his front-bench seat.
Minister of State for the Office of the Taoiseach and Government Chief Whip
Fine Gael, Wexford Department of the Taoiseach
First elected to the Dáil in May 2002, Kehoe was Fine Gael Chief Whip. He can now attend Cabinet and is responsible for making sure that the Government has a voting majority in the Dáil.
Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport
Labour, Tipperary North Department of Transport
Kelly was elected to Seanad Éireann by the Agricultural Panel in 2007 where he was spokesman on tourism, finance and local government. He is a former MEP for Ireland South. His brother Declan is the US Economic Envoy to Northern Ireland.
Minister of State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health
Labour, Cork North Central
Department of Justice, Equality and Defence
Formerly of the Workers’ Party, Lynch joined the Democratic Left and was elected to the Dáil for that party at a by-election in 1994. She lost her seat in 1997 and in 2002 she was re-elected for the Labour Party.
Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety
Fine Gael, Meath East
Department of Agriculture, Marine and Food
A member of Fine Gael since he was 15, McEntee first entered the Dáil in 2004 following a by-election. He is the party spokesman on agriculture, fisheries and food.
Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs
Fine Gael, Donegal South-West
Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs
First elected to the Dáil in 1982, McGinley was due to retire prior to the 2007 general election but changed his mind and was subsequently re- elected in 2007 and 2011.
Minister of State for NewEra
Fine Gael, Louth
Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources
Department of the Environment
A former Mayor of Drogheda, O’Dowd was first elected to the Dáil in 2002. NewEra pledges €18.2 billion to energy, communications and water infrastructure over four years.
Minister of State for Trade and Development
Labour, Limerick East Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
O’Sullivan entered the Dáil in 1998 for the Labour Party, following a by-election. She had previously been a member of the Democratic Socialist Party. She stood for deputy leader but was narrowly defeated by Joan Burton in 2007.
Minister of State for Housing and Planning
Department of Environment, Community and Local Government
The qualified barrister, who first entered the Dáil in the 1992 general elections, will sit at the Cabinet table and his remit will cover dealing with the 2,800 ghost estates in Ireland.
Minister of State for Small Business
Fine Gael, Sligo North-Leitrim
Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation
First elected to the Dáil in 1997, Perry has been spokesman on enterprise in the border counties, marine and small business.
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport
Fine Gael, Mayo
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
A former auctioneer, Ring was first elected to the Dáil in a 1994 by-election. He was spokesman on community, rural and Gaeltacht affairs and is a member of the British–Irish Inter- Parliamentary Body.
Minister of State for Research and Innovation
Labour, Cork East Department of Education and Skills
Department of Enterprise, Jobs and Innovation
An economics and politics graduate, the 39-year old worked as an assistant to Proinsias De Rossa in his office in the European Parliament prior to being elected to the Dáil in 2007.
Minister of State for Primary Care
Labour, Dublin North-West
Department of Health
Formerly a teacher for the deaf, Shortall was first elected to the Dáil at the 1992 general election. She was a member of the Joint Committee on Social and Family Affairs in the last Dáil.