Barry Cowen (52) is the new Minister for the Marine. A brother of a former Taoiseach, the Laois-Offaly TD will get a chance to sit at Cabinet following nine years on the party frontbenches. Cowen's work and party pedigree make him vital to new Taoiseach Michéal Martin, bringing with him large parts of the Fianna Fail party.
In the last Dáil, Cowen was Fianna Fail’s spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform. An auctioneer and valuer by trade, the incoming member of cabinet is from Clara, Co. Offaly.
The new minister was previously Fianna Fáil’s spokesperson on Environment and Local Government in July 2012 and party spokesperson on Social Protection in March 2011.
Minister Cowen was first elected to Dáil Éireann in 2011 following the retirement of his brother – former Taoiseach Brian Cowen.
He was a member of Offaly County Council between 1991 and 2011 and acted as chairman of Offaly County Council from 2000 to 2001.
Minister of Sport
Of significance to the Irish sailing scene will be the appointment of Minister of Sport, Green TD Catherine Martin (47) from Dublin Rathdown.
Eamon Ryan is the Minister for Climate Action and Transport with a massive offshore wind energy programme in prospect.
Super junior minister appointments include Galway's Hildegarde Naughton (43) with the Maritime Transport portfolio and the appointment of Heather Humphreys (57), as Minister for Social Protection and Rural Affairs.
The new Taoiseach has announced his cabinet in full, which comprises:
- 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 Agriculture and Marine – Barry Cowen;
- Minister for Justice – Helen McEntee;
- Minister for Health – Stephen Donnelly;
- Minister for Social Protection – Heather Humphreys;
- Minister for Education – Norma Foley;
- Minister for Children and Disability – Roderic O’Gorman;
- Minister for Housing – Darragh O’Brien;
- Minister for Media, Tourism, Art, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht – Catherine Martin;
- Minister for Higher Education, Innovation and Research – Simon Harris;
- Attorney General – Paul Gallagher;
- Chief Whip – Dara Calleary.