Our Ministers

Minister Harris 2Minister for Health Simon Harris

Simon is a native of County Wicklow and has been involved in the community all his life.

Simon first became involved in politics through his work as a disability advocate and is committed to providing a strong voice on issues relating to special needs and mental health. Before entering politics, Simon established the Wicklow Triple A Alliance, a charity to support children and families affected by Autism.

He was first elected to Dáil Éireann in the 2011 General Election and was the youngest member of the 31st Dáil. During that Dail term, Simon served as a member of the Public Accounts Committee, Oireachtas Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform, Secretary of the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party and Co-Convenor of the Oireachtas Cross Party Group on Mental Health, before being appointed in July 2014 as Minister of State in the Departments of Finance, Public Expenditure & Reform and the Department of the Taoiseach with Special Responsibility for OPW, Public Procurement & International Banking (including IFSC).

Simon was re-elected as TD for Wicklow & East Carlow in the February 2016 General Election and subsequently appointed Minister for Health.

Prior to his election to Dáil Éireann, Simon was a member of both Wicklow County Council and Greystones Town Council, having been elected in the 2009 Local Elections with the highest percentage vote of any candidate in the country. He has also served his community as Chairperson of the County Wicklow Policing Committee, Chairperson of the Dublin-Mid Leinster Regional Health Forum, Board Member of Wicklow Tourism and Member of Wicklow Vocational Educational Committee.


Minister of State with special responsibility for Disabilities

Finian McGrath TD is accountable for developing and articulating Government policy on improving the lives of people with disabilities and their carers through three Government Departments;  Health, Social Protection and Justice & Equality. The Minister will also be focusing on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as their Equality of Opportunity, Access to Early Childhood Care and Educational needs.

Finian has no political party affiliation and was elected to Dublin City Council in 1999.  He was first elected to Dáil Eireann as an Independent in 2002 and was subsequently re-elected in 2007, 2011 and again in 2016 representing Dublin Bay North. In May 2016, Finian entered into a Partnership Government with an agreed programme, including major Health and Disability Reforms, as part of an Independent Alliance.


Minister of State for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy

Catherine Byrne TD was appointed Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy in June 2017.

Catherine was first elected to Dublin City Council in 1999 and was Lord Mayor of Dublin from 2005 to 2006. She was first elected to the 30th Dáil on May 24th 2007, representing the constituency of Dublin South Central and she was subsequently re-elected to the 31st Dáil in 2011 and 32nd Dáil in 2016. Catherine was a member of the Oireachtas Committee on Health, Education and Social Protection during previous Dáil terms. Prior to her current appointment she had been appointed Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy.


Minister of State with special responsibility for Mental Health and Older People

Jim Daly TD represents the Cork South-West Constituency. Jim is a member of a number of Oireachtas Committees, including: Business; Children and Youth Affairs (Chair); Education and Skills; and Procedure (Dáil). He entered politics having been first elected to Cork County Council in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009, topping the poll in the Skibbereen electoral area. He was also elected Mayor of County Cork in 2010. A native of Drinagh, Co. Cork, Jim is one of eleven children. He is married to Virge and father to four sons.

A qualified primary school teacher, Jim was principal of the Gaelscoil in Skibbereen from 2002 to 2005 and has a particular interest in special needs education.