CLARE TD Joe Carey has been appointed Chairman of the Oireachtas Committee on Transport and Communications by Taoiseach Leo Varadkar in an extensive reshuffle of positions of responsibility in the Fine Gael party.

Deputy Carey will also serve as Fine Gael spokesman on Transport and is expected to take up his new responsibilities when he returns from sick leave.

He takes over chairmanship of the Oireachtas Committee in succession to Limerick TD Kieran O’Donnell who was recently promoted Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage.

Deputy Carey was one of 17 TDs appointed to the Fine Gael front bench and one of two appointed to chair Oireachtas committees, the other post being filled by former Minister of State Colm Brophy who will take charge of the Committee on European Affairs.

A long-time advocate for the development of Shannon Airport as a European transport hub and the introduction of a national aviation policy, Deputy Carey currently serves as Chairman of the Oireachtas group on Shannon Airport.

This statement has been issued on behalf of Joe Carey to keep you updated while Joe continues his recovery from illness.