South Tipperary has a new Minister of State, following a Cabinet meeting this morning.
Fine Gael Deputy Tom Hayes has been appointed to the position of Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture with responsibility for Food, Horticulture, and Food Safety. Hayes succeeds Shane McEntee in the post following his party colleague’s sudden death last December. Taoiseach Enda Kenny informed Fine Gael cabinet colleagues of his choice this morning (June 5).
Party colleagues Andrew Doyle, who chairs the agriculture committee, and Damien English, who ran the by-election for McEntee’s vacant seat, had been considered front seat contenders for the position. The South Tipperary Deputy has previously served as Chairman of the Fine Gael parliamentary party and was the party’s deputy spokesperson on transport with responsibility for road safety in the months prior to the 2011 general election. He has been a TD in Tipperary South since 2001 when he was elected following the death of Theresa Ahearn. He previously served four years in the Seanad.