Ministerial and Junior Ministerial appointments by Dáil constituency (June/July 2020)

Adrian Kavanagh, 27th June 2020

This post will look at ministerial appointments by Dáil constituency and by region, following the election of Micheál Martin as the new Taoiseach on 27th June 2020 and the subsequent appointment of a new cabinet, including Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party Dail deputies, as well as the announcement also of a number of junior ministerial appointments, with a number of other junior ministerial appointments announced, a few days later, on 1st July 2020.

Senior Minister:

Junior Minister:

Cork East
Cork North Central
Cork North West
Cork South Central3
Cork South West
Donegal 1
Dublin Central1
Dublin Mid West
Dublin Fingal11
Dublin Bay North
Dublin North West
Dublin Rathdown11
Dublin South Central
Dublin Bay South1
Dublin South West1
Dublin West21
Dun Laoghaire1
Galway East1
Galway West1
Kerry County1
Kildare North
Kildare South1
Limerick City
Limerick County2
Meath East1
Meath West1
Table 1: Senior Ministerial and Junior Ministerial appointments by Dáil constituency (June 2020)

In terms of the senior ministerial/cabinet positions, four (26.7%) of these have been taken up by female deputies – a similar level/number to the female appointments made in March 2016 (after the re-election of Enda Kenny as Taoiseach) and also in June 2017 (after the election of Leo Varadkar). Six of the twenty junior ministerial positions have been taken up by female Dáil deputies, with female deputies accounting for two of the three “Super Junior Minister” positions.

Three Dáil constituencies, Cork South-Central, Dublin West and Wicklow account for seven Senior Ministerial appointments – close to half of the total number (46.7%) of appointments to the Cabinet. Dublin West also has a further junior ministerial appointment, meaning that all of the three Government TDS in that constituency, as well as in Wicklow and Cork South-Central, have either a senior or a junior ministerial position. Laois-Offaly and Meath East both have attained one senior and one junior ministerial position, with all the Government Dáil deputies in Meath East, as well as Co. Offaly, attaining either a senior or a junior ministerial position.

The number of Dublin-based Senior Ministers (six, or 40.0% of the total) is down on the numbers that figured in Cabinet appointments after the 2011 General Election (nine) and the 2016 General Election (seven). With the Cork South-Central Ministers also factored in, the total number of City/urban based Ministers stands at nine – 60.0% of the total. Dublin-based Government Dáil deputies accounted for a further six junior ministerial positions (25.0% of the total). By contrast, the Limerick City constituency, as well as Cork North-Central, failed to attain any senior or junior ministerial position.

Only two (13.3%) of the Cabinet posts were held by Dáil deputies from the Munster region in June 2017 after Michael Noonan was replaced as Minister for Finance by Paschal Donohoe. However, the number of Cabinet positions being held by Munster-based TDs increases to four with the new appointments made today (27 June 2020), although one constituency – Cork South-Central – accounts for three of these four appointments. Only three of the twenty junior ministerial positions were, however, taken up by Dáil deputies from the Munster region; only 15.0% of the total.

Leinster gains a Cabinet position, relative to the numbers allocated to that region after the election of Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach in June 2017, with four ministers now hailing from that region (the same number as Munster) – 26.7% of the total number of Cabinet appointments. Wicklow (with two Senior Ministers) accounts for half of these Cabinet appointments. Leinster fared especially well in terms of junior ministerial positions, with Government Dáil deputies from that region accounting for seven (35.0%) of these appointments, including one “Super Junior Minister”.

The region to lose out particularly in terms of Cabinet appointments is the Connacht-Ulster region and particularly Connacht (although that province does get allocated two Super Junior Ministers – Dara Calleary (Mayo) and Hildegarde Naughten (Galway West)). Connacht-Ulster accounted for three of the Senior Ministerial appointments with the appointment of a new Cabinet in June 2017, however that region now has only one representative amongst the Senior Ministerial ranks – 6.7% of the Cabinet appointments. Connacht-Ulster fared somewhat better in terms of the junior ministerial positions, with five of the appointments involving Dáil deputies from that region (25.0% of the total).

One county that fared particularly well in terms of the appointments made on 27th June 2020 was Offaly. The old Offaly three-seat constituency had no representatives among the Senior and Junior Ministerial ranks after the June 2017 cabinet reshuffle. However, the county now has one Senior Minister (Barry Cowen) and one Super Junior Minister (Pippa Hackett) – with both being assigned to the Department of Agriculture and Marine.

The Dáil constituencies that failed to attain either a senior or a junior ministerial posiiton were Clare, Cork East, Cork North-Central, Cork North-West, Cork South-West, Dublin Mid-West, Dublin Bay North, Dublin North-West, Dubin South-Central, Kildare North, Limerick City, Louth, Roscommon-Galway, Tipperary and Wexford. Out of these fifteen Dáil constituencies, one of these – Roscommon-Galway – has no Dáil deputy based in it. As noted in an earlier post, Cork North-Central, Dublin North-West, Kildare North, Limerick City, Louth and Tipperary also did not feature among the senior and junior ministerial appointments made following the election of Leo Varadkar as Taoiseach in June 2017. By contrast, two positions had been allocated to Dublin Bay North (one senior, one junior) and Wexford (both junior) in the June 2017 appointments. Ten counties failed to attain either a senior or a junior ministerial posiiton and these were Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Laois, Longford, Louth, Sligo, Leitrim, Tipperary and Wexford.


About Adrian Kavanagh

Lecturer at the Maynooth University Department of Geography. Email:
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