Refreshed Frontbench unveiled by Howlin

13 July 2017

Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin today announced the refreshed Labour frontbench, incorporating those who have been selected as general election candidates, while giving each Labour Senator the responsibility of shadowing the work of a full Cabinet Minister.

Speaking at the announcement, he said:

“For the last year, we have done the hard work of rebuilding our party. After a difficult election, we needed the time and space to regroup and rebuild. We have all travelled the length and breadth of the country, renewing our organisation, recruiting new members and activists, and identifying new talent to contest future elections.

“We have done this while also carrying out the day to day work of holding this do-nothing Government to account, and proposing progressive legislation and policy documents. Where we could find common cause with other parties on the progressive left, we have done so, and we will continue to do so.

“I said a year ago that mine would be an inclusive leadership. For our politics to thrive, it must arise from a shared endeavour – a group of talented and committed people working for decency, justice and equality in our society.

“Today, I am adding to the strength of the team that has been working to that end for the last year. In Deirdre Kingston, Martina Genockey, Andrew Montague and Rebecca Moynihan, we have selected four outstanding General Election candidates. And I have every confidence that they will step up and become full and active members of our frontbench team over the coming year.

“I am also asked each of our Senators to take on full responsibility for shadowing a Cabinet Minister. Over the last year, Ivana Bacik has shown how from Seanad Éireann someone can actively critique and contribute to public policy that falls under the remit of a Government Department. Now I am asking Ged Nash, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and Kevin Humphreys to do the same. From working with them over the last year, I know they are well capable of presenting a truly social democratic vision for our future.

“These 22 women and men, who are taking on responsibility as National Spokespersons for the Labour Party are a varied group. They are people of energy and people of experience, people of ideas and people of idealism. They are the best of the Labour Party in every way, and I am excited about working with them over the coming months as we take on the next chapter of our task.”



Brendan Howlin Party Leader, Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland
Brendan Ryan Party Whip, Spokesperson on Defence
Joan Burton Spokesperson on Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, and the Arts
Alan Kelly Vice-Chair Public Accounts Committee, Spokesperson on Health
Jan O’Sullivan Spokesperson on Housing and Local Government, Enterprise and Innovation
Willie Penrose Spokesperson on Agriculture, Food & the Marine, Rural and Community Affairs
Seán Sherlock Spokesperson on Justice, Children & Youth Affairs

Ivana Bacik Seanad Group Leader, Spokesperson on Communications, Climate Action and the Environment*
Kevin Humphreys Seanad Whip, Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport*
Ged Nash Spokesperson on Employment and Social Protection*
Aodhán Ó Ríordáin Spokesperson on Education and Skills*, Gaeilge and the Gaeltacht
Denis Landy Spokesperson on Local Government Renewal

Alex White National Policy Coordinator
Deirdre Kingston Spokesperson on Equality
Andrew Montague Spokesperson on Community Affairs
Martina Genockey Spokesperson on Health Promotion and Drugs Strategy
Rebecca Moynihan Spokesperson on Community Arts
Emmet Stagg Spokesperson on Older People
Kathleen Lynch Spokesperson on Mental Health and Disability
Joe Costello Spokesperson on Urban Regeneration
Joanna Tuffy Spokesperson on Affordable Housing
Ciarán Lynch Spokesperson on Workplace Skills and Training

*For debates and questions in Dáil Éireann, the following will act as official Dáil Spokespersons:

Education and Skills – Joan Burton, Communications, Climate Action and the Environment – Seán Sherlock, Employment and Social Protection – Willie Penrose, Transport, Tourism and Sport – Brendan Ryan.

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