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Justice Minister Helen McEntee to take six months maternity leave, Taoiseach confirms

Justice Minister Helen McEntee to take six months maternity leave, Taoiseach confirms

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TAOISEACH Micheal Martin has said that the Justice Minister will take six months maternity leave.

Speaking in the Dail this afternoon, Micheal Martin said that Minister Helen McEntee is entitled to six months maternity.

Justice Minister Helen McEntee to take six months maternity leave, Taoiseach confirms
PA: Press Association

Justice Minister Helen McEntee will take six months maternity leave[/caption]

McEntee will take her paid leave from April 30 and will remain a member of the Government – without portfolio.

Minister Heather Humphreys will be taking over the Justice brief during this time.


As well as this, Junior Ministers Hildegarde Naughton and James Browne will have a significant delegation of the brief.

Minister Health Humphreys will also keep her other two roles as Social Protection and Rural Affairs Minister.

McEntee said: “There are still many barriers to women entering politics. One of those barriers is the lack of maternity and paternity leave for councilors, TDs, senators, and ministers.

“Women and men should know that having a family does not impede a career in public life. Just as many young girls as young boys want to succeed in politics.

“Just as many girls as boys aspire to help our communities and our society by becoming public representatives and leaders.

“But they do not see the equality of their dreams and ambitions matched inequality of representation.


“Just as girls of my generation looked to the strong women who came before us for inspiration and guidance, those of us in politics now have a responsibility to make it easier for today’s girls to fulfill those dreams and ambitions.”

McEntee said that the Government is determined to change the law and said the Citizen’s Assembly on Gender Equality is currently considering the question of public representative left.

“I and my colleagues in Government are determined to change the current system for the next generation.

“I welcome the fact that the Citizen’s Assembly on Gender Equality is considering the question of maternity, paternity, and other types of leave for public representatives.

“The Assembly will produce its recommendations by the end of June.”

Minister McEntee thanked Heather Humphreys for agreeing to take on the brief – as well as thanking Naughton for taking on a “significant proportion” of the work and James Browne for assuming “additional responsibilities.”


She said she is “very thankful” for the help and co-operation of other Ministers in accommodating her amidst the “clear lack of provision” of maternity and paternity leave in Ireland.

She added: “I would particularly like to thank Minister Humphreys for agreeing to be Minister for Justice, as well as Minister of State Naughton for taking a significant proportion of work within the Department of Justice, during the period of my leave.

“I am also extremely grateful to Minister of State for Law Reform James Browne for his help in assuming additional responsibilities in the Department of Justice during this period.

“I recently published the Justice Plan 2021, a plan to build a justice system that works for everyone. Ministers Humphreys, Naughton, and Browne will focus on ensuring the implementation of the Plan during my leave.

“While I am very thankful to all my colleagues for their help and co-operation in accommodating me, it is clear that the lack of provision for maternity, paternity, and other types of leave for those in public life is an issue that needs a long term solution.

“I look forward to working with colleagues across politics to bring about these much-needed changes.”


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