After Cabinet reshuffle

The Taoiseach has announced his Cabinet reshuffle, promoting two TDs to senior positions, moving four ministers to different portfolios and restructuring five Departments.

The new Cabinet in full

Read Taoiseach Brian Cowen's full speech

After a three-hour debate this evening, the Dáil approved the reshuffle, by 83 votes to 75.

Tony Killeen and Pat Carey were promoted to Cabinet, with Mr Killeen becoming Minister for Defence and Pat Carey taking on the role of Minister for Community, Equality and Gaeltacht Affairs.

Mary Coughlan remains as Tánaiste but is to move to the Ministry of Education and Science.

Batt O'Keeffe is to become Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

Éamon Ó Cuív is to become Minister for Social and Family Affairs.

Mary Hanafin moves portfolio and becomes Minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism.

John Curran is to become Government Chief Whip in place of Pat Carey.

Taoiseach Brian Cowen told the Dáil he intends to appoint Fianna Fáil TD Sean Connick as Minister for State as well as Green TDs Mary White and Ciarán Cuffe.

Mr Cuffe and Ms White have said they are really looking forward to the challenges ahead.

Mr Cuffe will have responsibility for horticulture, heritage, sustainable planning and transport.

He said he was always interested in these areas because they have a long-term dimension.

He said it was a huge honour to become a Minister of State.

Mary White will have responsibility for equality, human rights and social inclusion. She said she looked forward to now working with senior ministers.

Structural changes

The Taoiseach also announced structural changes to four departments.

The Department of Enterprise and Trade is now to take responsibility for Innovation.

The Department of Education is to become the Department of Education and Skills.

The Department of Social and Family Affairs will become the Department of Social Protection - it will take responsibility for FÁS.

Equality is to go into the Department of Community and Gaeltacht affairs.

Mr Cowen also announced the setting up of a Public Service Board, which aims to accelerate public service reform in consultation with the unions.

Junior minister Dara Calleary will also be assigned to push through change in the public service.

Announcing his changes, the Taoiseach said he was not in favour of structural changes for their own sake and said the benefits the changes bring will outweigh the costs.