Immigration portfolio for Denis Naughten, Connaughton omitted

Roscommon Fine Gael TD Denis Naughten has been appointed as spokesperson for the new Department of Immigration and Integration. The announcement was made yesterday evening (Wednesday) by the Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny as he re-shuffled his front bench.   Deputy Naughten was the spokesperson for Agriculture during the last Dail but that job has now gone to Deputy Michael Creed. Speaking to the Roscommon People on Wednesday Deputy Naughten said that he is very happy with his new role.    ‘It’s certainly a very challenging and topical brief and it’s a huge area where a lot of work needs to be done’ he said.   ‘There are so many people of all nationalities that have come here into Ireland and they are continuing to come every day and it is a massive challenge to look after their needs. These people come to Ireland to work for the most part and they have rights but they have responsibilities too. We must ensure that these people have their rights but equally we must make sure they know their responsibilities too’ he continued.    I put it to Deputy Naughten that this new department was only staffed by a Junior Minister (Conor Lenihan) but the Fine Gael TD said that if Enda Kenny was elected Taoiseach he would make this department a full cabinet ministry.   ‘Enda Kenny has told me that he regards this department as one of the most important in the Government and that he wanted me to head up new Fine Gael thinking on the whole issue. It will be a very exciting brief for me as I will be responsible for the formulation of Fine Gael policy in this regard over the next five years’ he said.    Deputy Naughten also says that he will be sad to leave his old job as spokesman for Agriculture. ‘I was in that job at a very interesting time for the sector. The introduction of the single farm payment, the implementation of the nitrates directive and the overall World Trade Organisation talks which were very controversial