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Simon Coveney announces he is stepping down from Cabinet

Simon Coveney has announced he is stepping down from Cabinet.

The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment revealed that he will step down when the Dáil resumes next week.

In a post on the social media platform X, the Minister said he spoke to Fine Gael leader Simon Harris last night to inform him of his decision.

“I’ll continue to work as a proud TD for Cork South Central and will of course actively support the Government in the Dáil,” Simon said.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Today with Claire Byrne, the politician said he did not know whether he would have been asked to be in Mr Harris’ Cabinet, and therefore it would be easier to step down before.

He reassured supporters that the move would aid party renewal and would also bring forward new ideas.

“I respect the fact he’s made it clear that he wants to create a new-look Fine Gael in many ways, to promote new talent in the party,” the minister said.

He added: “I know he was struggling with the decision in relation to who’d be in and who’d be out, and I think that for me being in the Cabinet, which has been an amazing experience for 13 years, I felt that the time was right both from his point of view and mine for him to give him the space to create new opportunity in the party.

“One of the most difficult things for an incoming party leader and Taoiseach is to form a team that can slot into Government well, particularly in an election year.

“I totally respect that that’s a really difficult decision for Simon, he’s going to be the youngest Taoiseach ever.

“He’s a really talented person, I think he’ll want to bring forward new idea and energy in the party and I think he’ll want to bring a team with him to do that.”

“I think it’s also a recognition by me too that Fine Gael needs renewal. We’re going to go into the next general election hoping to be in Government for a fourth term,” he said.

He added: “I think a party needs to find a way of renewing itself, refreshing itself, bringing forward, new faces, new voices, new ideas. In many ways, when Leo Varadkar decided to step down a couple of weeks ago, he started that process.

“I’ve had a chance to think about it from a personal point of view, over Easter with my family, and for me I’ve had an amazing 13 years at the centre of Government and I think we’ve got lots of ambitious talent in the party and I’m going to make it a bit easier.

“It may have happened, anyway, I don’t know. But I make it a bit easier for Simon to promote that talent now.”

Asked whether he will run in next election, Mr Coveney appeared undecided, saying that it was “not for this week”.

He added: “I’m a committed TD for Cork South-Central and will continue for foreseeable future.”


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