Helen McEntee will resume her role as Minister for Justice on Monday, six months after becoming the first Minister in the history of the State to take maternity leave.
Ms McEntee was the first Minister in the State to be pregnant or have a child while in office, stepping aside six months ago to take maternity leave, though she remained a member of Government.
Ms McEntee served as a Cabinet Minister without portfolio for the duration of her leave, which was facilitated by a complicated arrangement necessitated due to caps on the number of ministers a government can have. There are no legal provisions to allow TDs to take maternity leave.
Heather Humphreys served as both Minister for Social Protection, Rural and Community Development, and Minister for Justice during the period of Ms McEntee’s leave, while Ministers of State Hildegarde Naughton and James Browne were assigned responsibility for civil and criminal justice, and law reform and immigration respectively.
They served in the temporary roles from the end of April until October 31st.
Ms McEntee gave birth to a baby boy in the Rotunda in late April and will resume her role as Minister for Justice on Monday, November 1st.