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29th Apr 2021

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee welcomes baby boy

Sarah McKenna Barry

The TD makes history as the first Cabinet member to give birth while in office.

Helen McEntee, Ireland’s Minister for Justice, has given birth to a baby boy.

The Fine Gael TD for Meath East is the first Cabinet member in the history of the state to take maternity leave and give birth while in office.

According to a spokesperson, the Minister gave birth in the Rotunda hospital in Dublin’s city centre.

She took her maternity leave earlier this week.

Before her leave began, the Minister for Justice spoke about how important it is to see women in politics being able to take maternity leave and return to their post.

“It is really important that women see other women in roles and positions being able to take maternity leave, being able to return to their jobs and return to the positions they were working in before,” Minister McEntee said.

In March, Taoiseach Micheál Martin told the Cabinet that McEntee will take six months paid maternity leave, and will remain a member of government throughout.

The Minister of State, Hildegarde Naughton will temporarily take over McEntee’s role as Minister for Justice, while also continuing with her work in the Department of Transport.

At the time, the Taoiseach spoke about how there was a need for reform in maternity and paternity leave policy for members of the government.

“We want to make sure that having a family is in no way in conflict with pursuing a career in public life,” he said.

The Justice Minister announced that she was expecting a baby in December 2020.

In an Instagram post, McEntee said that Christmas would be her and her husband’s last holiday “as a duo”.

McEntee was first elected to the Dáil in the Meath East constituency in a 2013 by-election.

She married her partner Paul Hickey in 2017.