Labour Party leader Eamon Gilmore has appointed Jan O’Sullivan to the vacant position of Minister of State for Housing.
The 61-year-old Limerick-based TD succeeds Willie Penrose, who quit the super junior position last month in protest at the army barracks in his native Mullingar being closed.
Ms O’Sullivan was until today the junior minister at Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. She was given responsibility for trade and development in March.
She will now be entitled to sit at the Cabinet table, but not participate in votes. The Cabinet approved her appointment this morning.
The reshuffle means Dublin Central backbencher Joe Costello (66) will be elevated to the Minister of State position vacated by Ms O’Sullivan. Mr Costello was Labour’s director of elections in the recent presidential campaign, which resulted in the victory of Michael D Higgins. Mr Costello was also Labour’s director of elections for the Seanad campaign.
Ms O’Sullivan, a former teacher, was first elected to the Dáil in 1998 in a by-election brought about by the death of Jim Kemmy. She was Mayor of Limerick in 1993 and 1994. She was a member of the Democratic Socialist Party until it merged with the Labour Party.
She is married to Paul O’Sullivan. They have one son Paddy and one daughter Emily. She was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and University College Cork.