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Three Fine Gael TDs set to be promoted to junior ranks

Three new junior ministers are set to be appointed, as Taoiseach Simon Harris chairs a Cabinet meeting at Government Buildings.

Following his election yesterday, Mr Harris vowed to be a Taoiseach for all.

Reshuffling Fine Gael Cabinet roles, Mr Harris nominated junior minister Peter Burke as Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and junior minister Patrick O’Donovan as Minister for Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

Deputy Jennifer Carroll MacNeill will serve as Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Foreign Affairs, with special responsibility for EU Affairs and as Minister of State at the Department of Defence.

The Opposition branded the changes superficial and cosmetic and renewed calls for a general election.

Mr Harris told the Dáil yesterday that there is now a team in place in Government with the right mixture of experience and talent to build a new social contract.

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It is possible that Dublin Mid-West TD Emer Higgins could be appointed a Minister of State at the Department of Enterprise with Neale Richmond possibly taking up a role in Finance.

Given that Government Chief Whip Hildegarde Naughton now has responsibility for Special Education and Inclusion there is a vacancy in health, which could go to Cork North Central TD Colm Burke.

Fine Gael party chairman Alan Dillon is being linked with the OPW portfolio and one junior minister will also have to be assigned responsibility for the Gaeltacht.

Dublin TDs Alan Farrell and Colm Brophy are viewed by some in Fine Gael as having an outside chance of promotion.

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