The Labor Party has confirmed the first row at the new Irish government’s Cabinet table – over the appointment of Ministers.
The news comes just days after it was confirmed that two Labor Party representatives voted against going into coalition with the right wing Fine Gael.
The official announcement of the new Cabinet was delayed by half an hour on Wednesday after incoming Prime Minister Enda Kenny had been sworn in by President Mary McAleese.
Labor Party sources have since confirmed that the delay was down to a ‘disagreement’ over the make-up of the 15 strong Cabinet which features five Labor ministers and 10 from Fine Gael.
Dublin West deputy Joan Bruton is believed to have been one of the disappointed parties after she was failed to land a role in the Department of Finance.
Instead Fine Gael’s Michael Noonan will be Minister for Finance while Labor’s Brendan Howlin will have responsibility for Public Expenditure & Reform, a role many felt was earmarked for Bruton.
Instead she will have to be content with a role as Minister for Social Protection.
Alan Shatter will be Minister for Justice, Equality & Defence, Joan Burton gets Social Protection, James Reilly will be Minister for Health and Frances Fitzgerald is the new Minister for Children.
Veteran Labor member Ruairi Quinn gets the Education & Skills portfolio, Richard Bruton will be Minister for Enterprise, Jobs & Innovation and Leo Varadkar will be Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport.
Fine Gael negotiator Phil Hogan is the new Minister for the Environment, Community & Local Government while Kerry’s Jimmy Deenihan gets Arts, Heritage & Gaeltacht Affairs.
Pat Rabbitte will be Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, while Simon Coveney takes the Agriculture, Marine & Food portfolio.
Willie Penrose, another unhappy camper in the Labor Party, is the ‘super junior minister’ at Environment with responsibility for housing and planning.
Feminists have criticized the small number of women in the Cabinet, just two, which features an average age of 55 while 10 of the 15 were either senior or junior ministers in the Rainbow Government of 1994.
Those who have lost out, but should receive junior Ministries, include Fine Gael’s Michael Ring and Fergus O’Dowd and Labor TDs Roisín Shortall and Jan O’Sullivan.
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