Taoiseach names rival as his deputy

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney

Coveney, a TD (member of parliament) from south Ireland's County Cork, will continue to serve as minister for foreign affairs and trade with responsibility for Brexit.

FOREIGN Affairs Minister Simon Coveney has been announced as the new Tanaiste of Ireland.

She replaced Heather Humphreys, who was appointed to Fitzgerald's concurrent post of minister for business, enterprise and innovation.

Mr Varadkar who has been talking to a number of Fine Gael TD's about the position since Tuesday following the resignation of Frances Fitzgerald confirmed the news earlier on Wednesday.

Deputy Fitzgerald took the decision to stand down following a week of criticism and a vote of no confidence from opposition parties over her handling of a case involving Garda whistleblower Maurice McCabe.

Sources close to the Taoiseach have said Leo Varadkar recognised the "loyalty and support" given by the Corkman in recent days and weeks as the McCabe emails controversy threatened to bring down the Government.

The new Tánaiste and a new Cabinet minister are set to be named tomorrow by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar.

He added: "I believe his appointment as Tanaiste and deputy prime minister will enhance his position in representing the government overseas in the negotiations now underway".

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