Today Enda Kenny introduced a radical reshuffle of the FG front bench. This is quite a powerful and talented team which can be expected to put the Government under extreme pressure in the Dail.
Richard Bruton as Finance spokesman has greater economic expertise than Brian Cowen. Michael Creed has the political acumen necessary to make an outstanding spokesman on Agriculture. He has a greater depth of knowledge on the subject than most TDs in the Dail. He has the capacity outshine Mary Coughlan. Alan Shatter is an expert on family law. This is an excellent appointment.
Olivia Mitchell as spokesperson on Art Sport and Tourism is experienced. She has sound judgement.
Simon Coveney whilst not a great speaker is quite talented and not at all afraid of hard work.
Communications Energy and Natural Resources provides Coveney with plenty of opportunities to develop new policies.
Michael Ring is a renowned constituency worker and as a TD for Mayo is well acquainted with problems of the Gaeltacht and rural Ireland in general. Jimmy Deenihan should not encounter too many problems in Defence.
Brian Hayes has the capacity to be a creative spokesman on Education and Science. Newly elected TD Leo Varadkar is spokesman on Enterprise Trade and Employment. Already he has set out his stall. He will focus strongly on competitiveness.
Phil Hogan as spokesman on Environment Heritage and Local Affairs is highly experienced.
Billy Timmins has a opportunity to carve out a strong policy platform on Foreign Affairs. His military background should assist him in this task.
Charlie Flanagan as spokesman on Justice Equality and Law reform is experienced and is a solid performer. James Reilly is a doctor and has already spoken about the necessity to think outside the box He has the expertise necessary for health. He is more than a match for Mary Harney.
Denis Naughten is young and able. He will make an excellent spokesman on Immigration and Integration.
Olwyn Enright in Social and Family Affairs can carve out a new policy platform for FG on the Family.
Fergus O Dowd is now spokesman on Transport and the Marine. He was an outstanding contributor in the Dail on nursing home issues. He is a rising star.
Hopefully new roles can be found for John Perry,David Stanton and Michael Noonan. All three are talented. David Stanton would make an excellent Minister for Education. He is very much underestimated. John Perry was an outstanding Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee.
FG Front Bench:
Finance & Deputy Leader: Richard Bruton
Agriculture, Fisheries & Food: Michael Creed
Art, Sport and Tourism: Olivia Mitchell
Children: Alan Shatter
Communications, Energy & Natural Resources: Simon Coveney
Community Rural & Gaeltacht Affairs: Michael Ring
Defence: Jimmy Deenihan
Education and Science: Brian Hayes
Enterprise, Trade & Employment: Leo Varadkar
Environment, Heritage & Local Affairs: Phil Hogan
Foreign Affairs: Billy Timmins
Health: James Reilly
Immigration and Integration: Denis Naughten
Justice, Equality and Law Reform: Charlie Flanagan
Social & Family Affairs: Olwyn Enright
Transport and the Marine: Fergus O'Dowd
Chief Whip: Paul Kehoe
Leader in the Seanad: Frances Fitzgerald