09 Aug 2022

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee expecting second child

Minister for Justice Helen McEntee expecting second child

Justice Minister Helen McEntee is pregnant with her second child, due in December, a spokesman has confirmed.

In April last year, Ms McEntee became the first sitting Cabinet minister in the history of the Irish State to give birth while in office.

A spokesman told the PA news agency: “The minister and her husband Paul are very happy to be expecting their second child, due in December.

“Minister McEntee intends taking maternity leave to care for their baby.”

Ms McEntee’s first baby, Michael, arrived just one day after the minister began six months maternity leave last year.

During that time she remained a member of government, serving as a Cabinet minister without a portfolio until she returned in November.

Social Protection Minister Heather Humphreys oversaw the justice portfolio during Ms McEntee’s maternity leave, and some Justice Department duties were handed to Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton.

On Monday, Alliance Party MLA Kate Nicholl returned back to work at Stormont after giving birth to her daughter.

The party’s migration spokesperson said that going back to work three weeks after having a baby “is not an example I want to set”.

“MLAs should have the option of maternity leave – it’s a barrier for some women getting involved in politics, plus government really should lead by example when it comes to equal opportunities and inclusion.”

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