Sherlock appointed Minister of State for Foreign Affairs

Seán Sherlock was this week appointed, by the Taoiseach and Tánaiste, as Minister of State at the Department of Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Trade, North South Cooperation and Overseas Development. Speaking after the announcement, he said, “I’m absolutely delighted to have retained my position as a Minister of State. I’m honoured that the Taoiseach and the Tánaiste have placed their trust in me for the remainder of the Government and I consider this a promotion. I will have responsibility for North-South cooperation and that is an area that is very close to my heart. I’m very anxious to build on the bilateral links between north and south from a trade point of view, and I’m fully aware of the number of Irish companies that are seeking to trade overseas.”

He continued: “We completed €17 billion-plus in exports last year and that is all predicated on companies getting into the export markets abroad.”

Minister Sherlock also highlighted the respon-sibility for overseas aid. “I’m very excited by this role. I will also have responsibility for overseas development aid and I look forward to meeting with agencies such as Trocaire and Concern as Ireland has punched above its weight in this area.

“It’s a strong diplomatic brief, I consider it a promotion and I hope to get stuck into the brief today. I feel I had a good innings as research minister and I look forward to working to ensure that research continues to be funded adequately.”

Son of the late TD Joe Sherlock, Sean has served on Mallow Town Council and Cork Co. Council and was elected to Dail Eireann in 2007. He was appointed Minister of State for Research and Innovation at the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Department of Education and Skills in 2011, where he served until this week’s cabinet reshuffle.