Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment
Simon Coveney TD is the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, appointed in December 2022. He is also the Deputy Leader of Fine Gael.
He has served as Minister for Foreign Affairs (2017-2022) and Minister for Defence (2020-2022). Between November 2017 and June 2020 he also held the office of Tánaiste.
He has previously served as Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government (2016-2017), Minister for Defence (2014-2016) and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine (2011-2016).
First elected to the Dáil in 1998, he was elected to the European Parliament in 2004 where he was a member of the EPP-ED group. He was a member of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee and the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee and a substitute member on the Fisheries Committee. Mr Coveney was the author of the European Parliament's Annual Report on Human Rights in the World for the year 2004 and again for 2006. He was a member of Cork County Council and the Southern Health Board from 1999 to 2003.
Mr Coveney holds a B.Sc. in Agriculture and Land Management from The Royal Agriculture College, Gloucestershire. He was also educated at Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare, University College Cork and Gurteen Agricultural College, County Tipperary. In 1997-1998 he led the Sail Chernobyl Project which involved sailing 30,000 miles around the world for charity.
He is married to Ruth and they live in Cork with their three daughters.