Helen McEntee becomes first serving Cabinet minister to give birth

Helen McEntee
Helen McEntee

Justice Minister Helen McEntee has become the first woman in the history of the State to give birth while serving as a Cabinet minister.

Ms McEntee gave birth to a baby boy in the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin last night, a day after beginning maternity leave in another historic first.

She will remain on maternity leave for six months, with Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys taking on her responsibilities during that period.

Hildegarde Naughton, a minister of state in the Department of Transport, will also take on responsibilities in the Department of Justice alongside James Browne, who will both take on extra functions “in order to ensure a more balanced workload for this period”.

There is no formal mechanism for Cabinet ministers to take maternity leave. Ms McEntee described the arrangement as a “sticking plaster” until legislation is introduced.