Loss for Laois is gain for Offaly in the new Government

Barry Cowen appointed as new Minister for Agriculture

Justin Kelly & Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Justin Kelly & Conor Ganly

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news@leinsterexpress.ie

Offaly's Barry Cowen appointed as new Minister for Agriculture

New Minister for Agriculture Barry Cowen with fellow Laois Offaly TDs Carol Nolan, Brian Stanley, Charlie Flanagan, Sean Fleming

Laois-Offaly TD Barry Cowen has been appointed the new Minister for Agriculture by incoming Taoiseach Micheál Martin.

The brother of former Taoiseach Brian Cowen has been a TD since 2011.

However, his appointment coincides with the loss of a seat at the cabinet table on the Laois side of the constituency. Outgoing Minister for Justice and Equality Charlie Flanagan has not been appointed.

Dep Flanagan has served as Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Children since being appointed by former Taoiseach Enda Kenny in 2014.

There is no senior ministry either for Laois-based Fianna Fáil TD Sean Fleming.

Mr Cowen was strident in his criticism of Fine Gael before the election but played a key role in hammering out a deal with the Green Party and Fine Gael as part of the Fianna Fáil negotiating team.

Sinn Féin's Brian Stanley voted against Mr Martin but the fifth Laois Offaly TD Carol Nolan abstained. She did not vote for her former party leader Mary Lou McDonald or Mr Martin. 

Mr Martin will appoint other TDs as Ministers of State in the coming days.

Micheál Martin has announced the following ministerial appointments:

Tánaiste - Leo Varadkar

Minister for Climate Action and Transport - Eamon Ryan

Minister for Finance - Paschal Donohoe

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform - Michael McGrath

Minister for Foreign Affairs - Simon Coveney

Minister for Education - Norma Foley

Minister for Children and Disability - Roderic O'Gorman

Minister for Agriculture and Marine - Barry Cowen

Minister for Justice - Helen McEntee

Minister for Social Protection - Heather Humphreys

Minister for Housing - Darragh O'Brien

Minister for Media, Tourism, Art, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht - Catherine Martin

Minister for Health - Stephen Donnelly

Minister for Higher Education, Innovation and Reseach - Simon Harris

Attorney General - Paul Gallagher