John O'Donoghue, a former minister for justice, has become Ireland's Minister for Arts and Heritage following a cabinet reshuffle in which Sile de Valera lost her cabinet seat.

O'Donoghue will have responsibility for the arts, including film, together (for the first time) with sport and tourism, but not for broadcasting which will now come under the aegis of the newly created Department of Communications and Natural Resources and its minister, Dermot Ahern.

Local press comment attributes De Valera's demotion to her lacklustre record over five years in office, particularly in broadcasting and some areas of the arts, but not film.

The document outlining the coalition's agreed programme for government over the next five years contains just one sentence concerning film policy, "We will support the Irish film industry and the central role of the restructured Irish Film Board."

The moves are also part of a reshuffling of office holders among the re-elected coalition government.