Justice Minister Helen McEntee has given birth to baby boy. The TD has become the first sitting female minister to welcome a baby while in office. She is also the first female minister to take maternity leave.
This is also Minister McEntee’s first child with her husband Paul Hickey. The couple first confirmed the news of Helen’s pregnancy last December. The baby was delivered in the Rotunda Hospital, Dublin.
“A good news day all round”
A close source called this a “a good news day all round” as the baby arrived at 9-20 pm last night, weighing 7LBs 8oz.
Helen McEntee will take 6 months maternity. The minister has also vowed to work on legislation to ensure maternity leave for politicians is put into law.
The Citizens Assembly is presently examining if constitutional change may be needed in order to bring in this change. They will make a reccomendation in June.
The Justice Minister has said that she has had nothing “but positive responses” from both the government and the public since she decided to take her maternity.
“I’ve had nothing but positive responses from colleagues, from my community and constituents and from members of the public. I just want to thank everyone for that support”, Minister McEntee said.
She continued, “It’s really important that women see other women in roles and positions being able to take maternity leave, being able to return to their jobs and return to the positions that they were working in before”.
“Most importantly, what I hope to see in the future is that this won’t just apply to me but that other Ministers, TDs, senators, councillors, will be able to avail of maternity leave”.
Helen McEntee was also integral to the newly drafted legislation against Hate Crime which was approved by Cabinet earlier this month. Before now, the only legislation dealing with hate crime is the Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act 1989. This led to very few prosecutions.
More on that report here.