Appointment of Ministers of State

Iarraim ar an Taoiseach fógra a thabhairt mar eolas don Teach.

I wish to announce, for the information of the House, that the Government today appointed the following Ministers of State:

Minister of State with responsibility for European affairs, data protection and the EU Single Digital Market - Deputy Dara Murphy

Minister of State with responsibility for financial services, eGovernment and public procurement – Deputy Eoghan Murphy

Minister of State with responsibility for tourism and sport – Deputy Patrick O'Donovan

Minister of State with responsibility for housing and urban renewal – Deputy Damien English

Minister of State with responsibility for Gaeltacht affairs and natural resources – Deputy Seán Kyne

Minister of State with responsibility for food, forestry and horticulture – Deputy Andrew Doyle

Minister of State with responsibility for employment and small business - Deputy Pat Breen

Minister of State with responsibility for training and skills – Deputy John Halligan

Minister of State with responsibility for mental health and older people – Deputy Helen McEntee

Minister of State with responsibility for health promotion – Deputy Marcella Corcoran Kennedy

Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works and flood relief – Deputy Sean Canney

Minister of State with responsibility for the diaspora and overseas development aid – Deputy Joe McHugh

Minister of State with responsibility for regional economic development – Deputy Michael Ring

Minister of State with responsibility for communities and the national drugs strategy - Deputy Catherine Byrne

Minister of State with responsibility for justice with special responsibility for equality, immigration, and integration – Deputy David Stanton.

These appointments are in addition to the three Ministers of State who were appointed when the Government was formed: Deputies Regina Doherty, Finian McGrath and Paul Kehoe.

In making these appointments today, the Government has decided to expand the number of Ministers of State by three compared with the number in the previous Government. In doing so, the Government will, in line with its programme for Government commitments, place a stronger emphasis on important policy areas, especially the Department of Health to which four Ministers of State will be attached to work to deliver real improvements in this vital public service, and with the appointment of a Minister of State with specific responsibility for flood relief which reflects the urgency of making progress in this area.

I am confident that all those appointed today will work hard with the members of the Government and the House to ensure the intensified engagement between the Government and the Oireachtas and its committees, which will be provided for in the new Dáil reform process, is effective in the interests of all the people who we are elected to serve. I wish all those appointed good fortune and good luck in their respective Departments.

Can we respond to the Taoiseach?

Deputies cannot. I am sorry.

I would like to respond to the Taoiseach because he might recall the Minister, Deputy Richard Bruton's statement.

It is not provided for Deputies to respond. I am sorry. We are proceeding to matters selected for Adjournment debates.