Who’s who: The new ministers at the Cabinet table

The Cabinet reshuffle is, for the most part, just that - a reshuffle. But amid the familiar faces moved from one portfolio to another, a handful of politicians have made fresh space at the Cabinet table.

Below, you’ll find the new faces - many of whom have been promoted from their roles as junior ministers.

Business and Employment (super junior)

Who? Gerald Nash, Labour

Constituency: Louth East Meath

Previous position: TD

Gerald Nash, at 28 years old, has already served as mayor of Drogheda and a councillor for both Louth and Drogheda.

He won his seat at the top of the poll in the 2009 local elections, before winning his seat as a TD in the General Election of 2011.

He is vice-chair of the Labour Parliamentary Party and has served on three Dáil committees: Environment, Foreign Affairs, and Public Accounts.

Environment and Local Government

Who? Alan Kelly, Labour

Constituency: Tipperary North

Previous position: Minister of State for Public and Commuter Transport

The new deputy leader of the Labour party following the recent leadership election, Alan Kelly won his seat for the first time in the 2011 general election. Prior to that, he was an MEP for Ireland South.

At 38, Kelly has been a long-time Labour member, canvassing for the party in the 1992 election while still in school. He has served as Chair of Labour Youth and was elected to Seanad Éireann on the Agricultural panel in 2007.

Kelly has worked as an eBusiness Manager with Fáilte Ireland.


Who? Jan O’Sullivan, Labour

Constituency: Limerick City

Previous position: Minister of State for Housing and Planning

O’Sullivan has been in Irish politics since 1993, when she began as a Senator, and has been a TD for Limerick since 1998. She only narrowly missed becoming Deputy Leader of the Labour Party in 2007, when she lost out to Joan burton by 204 votes.

O’Sullivan holds a diploma in Education from UCC, and has worked as a teacher and Montessori teacher.

She was appointed Minister of State for Trade and Development after the 2011 general election, but was moved to Housing and Planning following the resignation of Willie Penrose.


Who? Alex White, Labour

Constituency: Dublin South

Previous position: Minister of State for Primary Care

Alex White put himself forward for the Labour leadership following Eamon Gilmore’s recent resignation, but lost to Joan Burton by a wide margin – 22% of the vote to her 77%.

Nonetheless, he finds himself promoted during this Cabinet reshuffle to a full ministerial seat.

A former current affairs producer in RTÉ, he is also a Senior Counsel specialising in employment law. He was elected to South Dublin Co Council in 2004 and appointed to the Seanad after the 2007 general election, before his election to Dáil Éireann in 2011.


Who? Paschal Donoghue, Fine Gael

Constituency: Dublin Central

Previous position: Minister of State for European Affairs

Taking over the European Affairs position from Lucinda Creighton in July last year when the latter defied the party whip, Donoghue began his political career as a councillor for Cabra-Glasnevin, becoming a Senator in 2007, before winning his Dáil seat in the 2011 election.

During his career as a Senator, he was appointed Fine Gael’s spokesperson on Transport and the Marine. Before his political career, he worked as a sales and marketing director.

Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht.

Who? Heather Humphreys, Fine Gael

Constituency: Cavan Monaghan

Previous position: TD

Heather Humphreys was elected to the Dáil in February 2011 for the constituency of Cavan Monaghan.

She was re-elected to Monaghan County council in June 2009.

She has been chairperson of the council from September 2010.

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