herald

Sunday 22 October 2017

YOungest TD harris lands top junior position in the ministry for finance

Simon Harris, the youngest member of the current Dail, has scooped the plum position of junior Finance 
Minister in the latest Cabinet 
reshuffle.

The post is considered the most prestigious of all the junior ministries and the 27-year-old has been given special responsibility for the Office of Public Works, Public Procurement and International Banking.

His appointment is likely to upset older colleagues who were infuriated by rumours of a deal to give Mr Harris a junior ministry if he failed to win a seat in the recent Euro elections.

Senior party sources were quoted at the time as saying there would be real anger if people who served during the hard times "when some of the new breed were in creches are overlooked".

Mr Harris was unsuccessful in his bid for a seat in the Ireland South constituency.

The young Wicklow Fine Gael TD's political rise has been stellar.

He was elected to the Dail for the first time in the last General Election, and was quickly singled out as one of the "up-and-coming 
power players".

NOminating

On his first day in the Dail, he had the honour of nominating Enda Kenny as Taoiseach.

Even when he was elected to Wicklow Co Council in 2009 he managed to achieve the highest percentage vote of any councillor in the country.

Since becoming a TD he has served on the influential Public Accounts Committee, as a 
member of the Oireachtas 
Committee on Finance, Public Expenditure and Reform and as secretary of the Fine Gael Parliamentary party.

He has also been co-convenor of the Cross-Party Group on Mental Health and co-chair of the Fine Gael Working Group on Autism.

Mr Harris' involvement in politics began after he set up an autism support and lobby group in Co Wicklow to give voice to people living with autism and their families.

His younger brother Adam was born with Asperger, a condition on the autism spectrum.

Mr Harris' work with the lobby group led to him being appointed to a Committee of the National Disability Authority.

csheehy@herald.ie

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