Eamon Gilmore set to become new Irish Foreign Affairs Minister

Labour Party Leader, Eamon Gilmore

It is understood that Labour leader Eamon Gilmore will be appointed as the Minister for Foreign Affairs, with responsibility for trade also shifting to that department.

Gilmore, the Labour Party leader, will follow in the footsteps of Dick Spring, the last Labour leader in a coalition who also became Foreign Minister.

Michael Noonan of Fine Gael will be the new Finance Minster and Joan Burton of Labour will take a new position in the Department of Finance as head of public sector reform.

The Foreign Affairs job is a critical one in the upcoming government as heavy involvement with the European Union bailout will be part of the department's responsibility.

Gilmore will also be travelling to Washington DC on St.Patrick’s Day with Prime Minister Enda Kenny to meet with President Obama

The new coalition government will be made up of ten Fine Gael and five Labour cabinet members.

Other changes are to include the dissolution of the Department of Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

There is also uncertainty regarding the future of the Department of Arts, Sports and Tourism and speculation that Tourism may be moved to Transport.

Lobbying will continue right up until the deadline before the Dail sits at midday on Wednesday.

The first order of business tomorrow will be to elect a new Speaker, followed by the nominations for the position of Prime Minister.

If the Fine Gael leader wins the nomination as predicted, he will travel to the president’s residence, Áras an Uachtarain and then return to the Dail, where he will unveil his new cabinet.

Meanwhile the outgoing Cabinet held its final meeting at Government Buildings today at which the outgoing Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Brian Cowen, and Tánaiste Mary Coughlan and Ministers Brian Lenihan, Mary Hanafin, Pat Carey, Brendan Smith and Éamon Ó Cuív attended.

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