Minister Helen McEntee with husband Paul Hickey. PHOTO: Richard Wright.

Minister Helen McEntee gives birth to baby boy

Minister Helen McEntee has given birth to a baby boy.

The new baby, born in the Rotunda Hospital, weighed in at 7lb 7oz and arrived just days after she began her six months of maternity leave earlier this week and two weeks before her due date.

A spokesperson said both mother and baby were healthy and well. The Minister is married to Paul Hickey. The couple have yet to decide on a name.

The Meath East TD will remain a member of the Government while on paid leave - assigned as a 'minister without portfolio' without any specific duties or responsibilities.

Heather Humphreys, meanwhile, has been assigned the Justice brief while Minister McEntee is on leave.

Helen McEntee will then be reappointed as justice minister when she returns to work on November 1st.

Minister McEntee last year became the first Cabinet minister in the history of the State to be pregnant while in office.

It led to fresh calls for maternity and paternity leave for politicians, with a Citizens' Assembly now recommending that maternity leave be introduced for all elected representatives.