16 Aug 2022

Corcoran Kennedy loses her junior minister position

REPORTS: Offaly's Marcella Corcoran Kennedy could hold onto junior ministry

Fine Gael TD for Offaly/North Tipperary, Marcella Corcoran Kennedy, has lost her role as a junior minister following a shake-up by new Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

Varadkar has been reshuffling the junior ranks this afternoon, and Corcoran Kennedy, who held the junior post for health promotion at the Department of Health, has reportedly been demoted by the new Taoiseach.

She is "extremely disappointed" at the news, which broke this afternoon, June 20, having told the Offaly Express last week that she hoped Varadkar would take "work rate, gender and geography" into consideration before making his junior ministerial appointments.

Varadkar was under pressure to make noticeable changes to the junior ranks having made very few changes to the Cabinet benches last week.

In total, five backbenchers are being promoted to junior ministries this afternoon, while of the four former junior ministers who supported Simon Coveney in the recent leadership race, just David Stanton and Damien English are being retained with English moving to the Department of Housing. 

Jim Daly has been given the mental health and older people portfolio, while John Paul Phelan, a Varadkar supporter in the contest, has been given the housing portfolio. 

The Irish Times have quoted Dara Murphy, a Coveney supporter who has been dropped by Varadkar, as having said the Taoiseach told him, "he had to reward his supporters."

The Cabinet are due to sign off on the new appointments later today.

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