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‘Tremendous honour for us in Cork’

Thursday, 15th June, 2017 9:33am

Those were the words of Fine Gael Senator Jerry Buttimer yesterday as speculation was mounting that Minister Simon Coveney would take over the role of Foreign Affairs Minister.

It is expected that he would be one of the main figures to deal with Brexit, once it takes effect.

There was also speculation that Eoghan Murphy, a Fine Gael TD based in Dublin, would have a Brexit-focussed job with the Government, also.

This speculation came a day after the new Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar appointed Minister Coveney as deputy leader of the Fine Gael Party.

Senator Buttimer said: “It’s a tremendous honour for us in Cork to have a deputy leader appointed. It reflects the vote he received in the membership and reflects the way in which he took the campaign (to become Fine Gael leader) around the country.”

When asked by the Cork Independent if Minister Coveney would forget about Cork, and the people who elected him if he is to secure the role of Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator Buttimer replied: “He will represent Ireland with conviction.

“We have a very strong Oireachtas team in Cork and he won’t forget about Cork. I know that won’t happen.

“Minister Coveney and I will work together to make sure that Cork continues to be an important part of the Government’s focus.”

Meanwhile, Michael Creed, Cork North-West TD will continue as Minister for Agriculture.

An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is the first-ever former Young Fine Gael member to become Taoiseach.

At the age of 38, he is also the youngest Taoiseach in Irish history, and is the 14th leader of the country.

Appointed yesterday, it marked the tenth year to the day that he was first elected as a TD.

The four Fine Gael MEPs congratulated Leo Varadkar on his election as An Taoiseach.

Seán Kelly, Mairead McGuinness, Brian Hayes, and Deirdre Clune said Mr Varadkar will have their full support.

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