DONEGAL North East Fine Gael TD Joe McHugh has been promoted as a Junior Minister.
Deputy McHugh (43) is the new Minister of State at the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht Affairs and the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources with Special Responsibility for Gaeltacht Affairs and Natural Resources.
Deputy Dinny McGinley has lost his post as Junior Minister in the Department of Arts, Gaeltacht and the Islands. He has also confirmed he will not be contesting the next general election.
First elected to Donegal County Council in 1999, Deputy McHugh, has been a member of the Dáil since he topped the poll in 2007. He was elected to the Seanad on the Adminstrative Panel in 2002.
Sources close to the Donegal Deputy say he is thrilled with the promotion.
This afternoon, Deputy McGinley released the following statement.
“In discussions this morning with the Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, T.D., I indicated to him that, after serving 33 years as a member of Dáil Éireann, it was not my intention to seek re-election at the next General Election.
“I expressed my appreciation of being afforded the privilege of serving as a Minister of State for the past three years and thanked the Taoiseach for giving me that opportunity.
“While my time as a Minister of State coincided with one of the most difficult economic periods which this country has gone through, I was pleased that I had nonetheless achieved progress on a number of fronts across the Gaeltacht, Gaeilge and Islands brief.
I want to record my appreciation of the support I received from officials in my Department over the past 3 years. I thank them for their commitment and hard work over that period.
“I would also like to acknowledge the support I received at all times from Minister Jimmy Deenihan. I also wish to thank my family, friends, supporters and staff for their support and encouragement during my time as a Minister of State.
“I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of my constituents for the remaining period of this Dáil.