Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Cowen announces cabinet reshuffle

Brian Cowen
Brian Cowen announced his reshuffle in the Irish parliament

The Irish prime minister, Brian Cowen, has announced his cabinet reshuffle.

Tony Killeen will become defence minister, with Pat Carey getting the portfolio of community, equality and gaeltacht affairs.

Mary Coughlan remains as deputy prime minister but is to move to the ministry of education and science.

Batt O'Keefe is to move to enterprise, trade and employment, while Eamon O'Cuiv is to become minister for social and family affairs.

Elsewhere, Mary Hanafin moves portfolio and becomes minister for arts, sports and tourism.

Mr Cowen told the Irish Parliament he intends to appoint Fianna Fail TD Sean Connick as minister for state as well as Green TDs Mary White and Ciaran Cuffe.

John Curran gets the role of government chief whip in place of Pat Carey.

Mr Cowen also announced structural changes to four departments.

It means the Department of Enterprise and Trade will take responsibility for innovation and the Department of Education will become the Department of Education and Skills.

The Department of Social and Family Affairs will become the Department of Social Protection and Equality will move into the Department of Community and Gaeltacht Affairs.

The Taoiseach also announced the setting up of a public service board which aims to accelerate public service reform in consultation with the unions.

The junior minister Dara Calleary will be assigned to push through change in the public service.

Mr Cowen said he was not in favour of structural changes for their own sake but added the benefits the changes would bring would outweigh the costs.

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