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fill-in Helen McEntee to take six months maternity leave as Heather Humphreys takes over as temporary Justice Minister

Micheál Martin said Ms McEntee will take paid maternity leave from her role with effect from April 30 for six months.

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Heather Humphreys

Heather Humphreys

Heather Humphreys

HEATHER Humphreys will take over as temporary justice minister when Helen McEntee goes on maternity leave at the end of April, the Taoiseach has confirmed.

Micheál Martin said Ms McEntee will take paid maternity leave from her role with effect from April 30 for six months.

She will remain a member of the government without portfolio for that period. Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys will be assigned responsibility for Department of Justice from the period May 1 to October 31.

Junior transport minister Hildegarde Naughton will become a temporary Minister of State at Department of Justice in addition to her current responsibilities, while Minister of State in the Department of Justice, James Browne, will continue in the same role.

There will be a "significant delegation of functions" to the two ministers of state in the Department, Mr Martin said.

Ms McEntee will resume her role as Minister for Justice on November 1 following maternity leave.

Ms McEntee and her husband Paul Hickey are expecting their first child in May. She is the first serving Cabinet minister to be pregnant while in office.

The Meath East TD had already announced she will take six months leave when her baby is born.

However, there is currently no provision for politicians to take maternity leave and the issue of cabinet ministers being able to take such leave without resigning their office is likely to require a future referendum.

More to follow…

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