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 Header Item Allocation of Time: Motion (Continued)
 Header Item Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 953 No. 4

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  8 o’clock

Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government

An Ceann Comhairle: Information on Seán Ó Fearghaíl Zoom on Seán Ó Fearghaíl I call the Taoiseach, Deputy Leo Varadkar, to confirm his appointment as Taoiseach by the President and to move the motion.

The Taoiseach: Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar B'áil liom cead a chur in iúl, mar eolas don Dáil, gur chuir mé m'ainmniú mar Thaoiseach in iúl don Uachtarán agus gur cheap sé mé dá réir.

  I beg leave to announce, for the information of the Dáil, that I have informed the President that the Dáil has nominated me to be the Taoiseach and that he has appointed me accordingly.

  Tairigim:

Go gcomhaontóidh Dáil Éireann leis an Taoiseach d'ainmniú na dTeachtaí seo a leanas chun a gceaptha ag an Uachtarán mar chomhaltaí den Rialtas:

  I move:

That Dáil Éireann approve the nomination by the Taoiseach of the following Deputies for appointment by the President to be members of the Government:

Proinséas Mhic Gearailt    Frances Fitzgerald

I also propose to nominate her as Tánaiste

Pascal Ó Donnchú    Paschal Donohoe

Risteárd de Briotún    Richard Bruton

Síomón Ó Cómhanaigh    Simon Coveney

Cathal Ó Flannagáin    Charles Flanagan

Heather Mhic Unfraidh    Heather Humphreys

Síomón Ó hEarchaí    Simon Harris

Micheál Ó Críod    Michael Creed

Donnacha Ó Neachtain    Denis Naughten

Seán de Rossa    Shane Ross

Caitríona Zappone    Katherine Zappone

Micheál Ó Rinn    Michael Ring

Ríona Uí Dhochartaigh    Regina Doherty

agus

and

Eoghan Ó Murchú    Eoghan Murphy

  I intend to assign Departments of State as follows:

Department of Enterprise and Innovation to: Frances Fitzgerald

Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform to: Paschal Donohoe

Department of Education and Skills to: Richard Bruton

Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, with special responsibility for Brexit, to: Simon Coveney

Department of Justice and Equality to: Charles Flanagan

Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht to: Heather Humphreys

Department of Health to: Simon Harris

Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to: Michael Creed

Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to: Denis Naughten

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport to: Shane Ross

Department of Children and Youth Affairs to: Katherine Zappone [who cannot be with us today and our thoughts are prayers are with her at this time]

A new Department of Community and Rural Affairs to: Michael Ring

Department of Employment and Social Protection to: Regina Doherty

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government to: Eoghan Murphy

I propose to nominate Seamus Woulfe SC for appointment by the President to be the Attorney General.

  I also propose to nominate the following as Ministers of State who will attend Cabinet:

Deputy Joe McHugh as Government Chief Whip and Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht with responsibility for Gaeilge, Gaeltacht and the Islands

Deputy Mary Mitchell O'Connor as Minister of State at the Department of Education and Skills with responsibility for higher education

Deputy Paul Kehoe as Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach and the Department of Defence with special responsibility for defence

Deputy Finian McGrath as Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, the Department of Justice and Equality, and the Department of Health with special responsibility for disability issues.

  I have tasked my new Government to build an Ireland, a republic of opportunity as I have spoken about, as one in which every person has an opportunity to succeed and in which all parts of the country have an equal chance to share in our prosperity. I have also tasked it with ensuring Ireland remains at the heart of Europe and becomes an island at the centre of the world. To help create this republic of opportunity, we need to be a Government of purpose, a Government that gets things done.

  We are fortunate to be in government with some hugely talented Independent Deputies. These are men and women who have brought with them their own vision for the country, their own determination to do what is right, and their own ideas about what is needed to help all our citizens, and we are stronger because of them. They showed courage in entering government a year ago and they are making a real difference on issues, from medical cards for people in receipt of domiciliary care allowance to child care, judicial reform and broadband. I look forward to a long and enduring partnership with them.

  I want this to be a genuine partnership Government that mobilises the talents of all those involved, those in Fine Gael and the Independent Alliance Ministers and Deputies, as well as independent Ministers and Deputies. It will be a partnership built on mutual trust and respect, underpinned by a shared desire to help all our citizens, whatever the challenges or problems that are thrown at us. We will work together in the public interest for the common good.

  Today marks the end of one chapter in Irish history and the beginning of another. To those countries around the world that are looking at Ireland tonight, I have a simple message. This country will be at the heart of Europe, the common European home we helped to build, playing our part in the great debates and meeting the great challenges of our time. We will strengthen the bonds with those countries with which we share historical and cultural links, such as the United Kingdom and the United States of America. We also reaffirm our connection with all the countries where we have developed strong links in recent years. This Government is committed to multilateralism and we will face the great international causes of our time, with climate change and international development being two of the most pressing. We will continue to play a role in the United Nations, building on our great history of international co-operation and responsibility. We will work to protect our citizens and we will work to pay our part in combating the growing threat of radical terrorism. I have a special message of support for our diaspora around the world, wherever they are to be found. We pledge that we will provide a voice for your interests and strengthen links to this country.

  I shall now set out some of our priorities. I have asked the Minister, Deputy Coveney, to take on the role of the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade with special responsibility for co-ordinating the whole-of-Government response to Brexit. We face enormous challenges in foreign policy as relationships on this island, between these islands and across Europe change. I have given Deputy Coveney the task to work towards re-establishing devolved government in Northern Ireland, to secure the best possible deal for Ireland on Brexit, to win seats for Ireland on the UN Security Council and to expand our diplomatic and trade footprints overseas.

  I have asked the Minister, Deputy Paschal Donohoe, to serve as the head of two Departments: the Department of Finance and the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform. I have asked him to keep our public finances sound, to drive the implementation of a new, ambitious capital infrastructure plan for Ireland, to ensure our public services continue to be reformed and to prepare for the challenges and opportunities of Brexit. In 2011, given the scale of the crisis this country was facing, it was the right decision to create two Departments to deal with the questions of finance, public expenditure and reform. Having restored our economic sovereignty, we are now working to ensure the recovery is shared across the State, and there is now a real logic in having the same Minister in charge of these two areas to ensure integration and co-ordination.

  Deputy Frances Fitzgerald will continue to serve as Tánaiste, a role in which she has excelled in recent years. She will also serve as the Minister for Enterprise and Innovation. The Minister is tasked with driving employment growth and investment in Ireland, especially outside the greater Dublin area, with expanding our agency presence abroad and with ensuring Ireland is business ready for Brexit. I also intend to enhance the office of Tánaiste, including attending some State occasions and trade missions and chairing some Cabinet committees.

  The Minister, Deputy Charles Flanagan, will serve in the Department of Justice and Equality where his key tasks will be to continue to reduce crime, to pilot the Judicial Appointments Commission Bill through the Dáil and to drive reform and culture change in An Garda Síochána.

  The Minister, Deputy Creed remains as the Minister for Agriculture, Marine and Food and he will prioritise preparations for the next round of Common Agricultural Policy, CAP, reforms, expand Ireland's overseas markets for food, drive the implementation of Food Wise 2025 and look to harness our ocean wealth.

  The Minister, Deputy Richard Bruton, will stay as the Minister for Education and Skills and will be responsible for the enactment of the Technological Universities Bill 2015, securing a broad consensus on a new model of funding for third level education, and implementing the action plans for education and educational disadvantage. Education is the most effective tool to break cycles of disadvantage and to provide opportunity.


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