Independent Alliance TD Kevin 'Boxer' Moran has taken up his new role as a junior minister.

The Longford/Westmeath TD takes over from Sean Canney as Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works.

Last May Deputy Canney made history as the first Irish politician to assume a ministerial role as a result of a flip of a coin.

When the Government was formed last year, Mr Canney and Mr Moran opted to share a junior ministry, flipping a coin to determine who would take up the role first.

The Galway East TD was junior minister up until midnight and Mr Moran has taken over the role today.

Deputy Moran was heavily involved in the Shannon flood relief effort in Athlone before last year's General Election.

He said he is "hugely proud" to serve as a junior minister in a portfolio that is close to his heart.

He said: "I will continue to make flood relief and flood relief schemes a priority for this Government.

"I will be looking at ways to speed up the time frame under which flood relief schemes are delivered as well as looking at the issue of insurance for homes in flood affected areas."

Mr Moran is planning on visiting the UK and the Netherlands to get a broader perspective of flood relief schemes in operation there.

He is also keen to promote heritage sites which are under the control and management of the OPW.

"I want to open up our fantastic heritage sites to everyone and one way of doing this is to allow all children under the age of 12 in for free. I will be working to achieve that as a priority."