Appointment of Members of Government and Ministers of State.

I wish to announce, for the information of the Dáil:

(1) that, having informed the President that Dáil Éireann had approved my nomination of Deputies to be members of the Government, the President, on 7 May 2008, appointed them accordingly;

(2) that, on the same date, I nominated Deputy Mary Coughlan to be the Tánaiste and assigned the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment to her;

(3) that, on the same date, I assigned the Departments of State to the other members of Government as follows: the Department of Finance, Deputy Brian Lenihan; the Department of Health and Children, Deputy Mary Harney; the Department of Transport, Deputy Noel Dempsey; the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, Deputy Dermot Ahern; the Department of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Micheál Martin; the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism, Deputy Martin Cullen; the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs, Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív; the Department of Social and Family Affairs, Deputy Mary Hanafin; the Department of Defence, Deputy Willie O'Dea; the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy John Gormley; the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Deputy Eamon Ryan; the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Deputy Brendan Smith; and the Department of Education and Science, Deputy Batt O'Keeffe;

(4) that, on 7 May 2008, the President appointed Mr. Paul Gallagher SC, as Attorney General;

(5) that, on the same date, the Government appointed Deputy Pat Carey to be Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, with special responsibility as Government Chief Whip, and at the Department of Defence;

(6) that, on 7 May 2008, the Government appointed Deputy Barry Andrews to be Minister of State at the Department of Health and Children with special responsibility for children and youth affairs; Deputy Trevor Sargent to be Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, with special responsibility for food and horticulture; and Deputy Dick Roche to be Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs, with special responsibility for European affairs.

Could I just ask a question, through the Leas-Cheann Comhairle?

Strictly speaking, there are no questions or comments.

Strictly speaking.

(Interruptions.)

Having said that, I am sure Deputy Kenny has something to ask that is in order.

I understand the Taoiseach is attending the economic conference in Northern Ireland. I was going to comment to the effect that it would have been desperate if the President had not accepted any of the nominations he put forward. Will the Taoiseach say whether the House is to be graced with his presence on Thursday mornings? We should like to see a change given that the House has a new Taoiseach, a new system and a new Leader.

The old arrangement worked exceedingly well.

I can advise Deputy Kenny that this is a matter which is in the hands of the House. Under the Standing Order, in fact, the Taoiseach is not allowed to take the Order of Business on a Thursday.

(Interruptions.)

Will the Taoiseach say when he intends to announce the appointment of the remainder of the Ministers of State?

Again, it is strictly not in order right now, but——

He might tell us.

I shall allow the Taoiseach to make a brief comment, if he wishes.

Next week.