Heather Humphreys appointed Fine Gael deputy leader

Ms Humphreys was appointed by new party leader Simon Harris.

Heather Humphreys with Fine Gael leader Simon Harris
Heather Humphreys with Fine Gael leader Simon Harris (Brian Lawless/PA)

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys has been appointed as deputy leader of Fine Gael.

Ms Humphreys was appointed by new party leader Simon Harris.

She took up the position, which was held by Simon Coveney, from Friday.

Former Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney
Former Fine Gael deputy leader Simon Coveney (Brian Lawless/PA)

In a statement, Ms Humphreys said: “It is a great honour to be asked to serve as deputy leader of our party and to build on the work carried out by my friend and colleague, Simon Coveney.

“I believe that we have a real opportunity now to reset the dial for Fine Gael and to place a renewed focus on issues that our party and our country really cares about.

“That is doing things like rewarding work, supporting small businesses, delivering for families, and strengthening rural Ireland.”

Fine Gael is in a “moment of renewal” as it heads into its annual Ard Fheis conference in Galway this weekend, according to Mr Harris.

In a statement on Friday, he said: “I am absolutely delighted that Heather has decided to serve as Deputy Leader of Fine Gael as we embark on a new chapter for our great party.

“Having known Heather as a friend and colleague for many years, I know she is a person of enormous ability and integrity and is deeply respected by grassroots members, local councillors and members of the parliamentary party alike.

“In her various ministerial portfolios, Heather has worked incredibly hard to deliver solutions which have made a tangible difference to people’s lives including cost-of-living supports, positive changes to our social protection system, and substantial investment in rural towns and villages to make them better places to live, work and raise a family.

“She has worked as a Minister in various portfolios including Justice, Enterprise, Culture, Arts and the Gaeltacht and brings immense experience from these departments.

“This is a moment of renewal for our party, and for reaffirming our commitment to driving progress and delivery for families, individuals, and communities throughout Ireland. I know Heather will bring the same vigour and determination to her new role and to the work that lies ahead.”

Mr Harris is expected to become taoiseach on Tuesday and will also make changes to the Fine Gael representatives at Cabinet in the coming days.