Following today’s announcements of Junior Ministerial appointments we now know that Co.Wexford will have no representative in Government.
Hopes were that James Browne would be able to secure a place as a Junior Minister, or that Paul Kehoe would be able to continue as a Junior Minister.
James Browne had proven himself particularly adept in his role as Mental Health Spokesperson for Fianna Fail. It is surprising therefore that, although Fianna Fail have been given charge of the Mental Health Ministry, that Deputy Browne was overlooked, in favour of Waterford based Mary Butler. This could be regarded as a snub or a kick in the teeth, considering how effective James Browne had been in the role.
Meanwhile, Paul Kehoe was also overlooked in the 7 Fine Gael, Junior Ministerial appointments. Kehoe had served as Minister of State at the Department of Defence since 2011, when Enda Kenny became Taoiseach.
Many in the South-East and in Co.Wexford were concerned after the senior ministry’s were announced, when it became apparent that not one of the 15 appointees was from the South-East Region. It seems now as those concerns will grow. County Wexford has gone from having two junior ministers to zero junior ministers.
The previous government had two Ministers of State from Co.Wexford, Michael D’Arcy and Paul Kehoe. Paul Kehoe had a seat at the cabinet take as Minister of State for the Department of Defence since 2011. He also served as Chief Whip from 2011 until 2016, while Michael D’Arcy is the outgoing Minister of State at the Department of Finance.