Fianna Fáil TD Niall Collins was appointed as Minister of State for skills and further education in the new government department of higher education, innovation, and science yesterday evening. He was appointed to the role by Taoiseach Micheál Martin.
The establishment of a new department for higher education, innovation and science was established under the new government, with Simon Harris spearheading the department as its minister.
Collins is a Limerick Fianna Fáil TD, who has served in the Dáil since 2016 for the Limerick County constituency since 2016.
He served as a member of Limerick County Council for the Bruff Local electoral area, after being elected in 2004.
Collins was first elected to Dáil Éireann at the 2007 general election for Limerick West.
When the “votegate” scandal erupted in the Dáil last year Collins lost his portfolio as the party’s spokesman on jobs, enterprise and innovation.
Collins is an accountant. He previously worked with Ernst & Young along with being a former lecturer at the Limerick Institute of Technology.
Prior to his election to Dáil Éireann, Collins was deputy CEO of the Shannon Regional Fisheries Board. He now works as a representative full time.
Incoming Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, spoke yesterday evening after the new appointments of junior ministers. He said: “This government reflects the shared future that each party has signed up for. We are ambitious in our plans and the appointment of the Ministers of State reflects our priorities for the five years.”
“The Ministers of State will play a key role in the delivery of the programme for government, and will ensure that no sector is left behind,” he continued.
Martin added: “I look forward to working with my colleagues to progress our common goal of a fairer, more equal Ireland.”
Martin appointed several junior ministers to the Dáil yesterday.
Anne Rabbitte, Robert Troy, Mary Butler, Jack Chambers, Charlie McConalogue, and Thomas Byrne have all been appointed to the new government.