Irish heads of government since 1919

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Ireland (and predecessor states)[edit]

The head of government, or prime minister, of Ireland is known as the Taoiseach and heads a cabinet called the Government. However, since 1919, heads of government in the Irish state have borne a number of titles. Under the short-lived Irish Republic of 1919–1922 the head of government was known first as the Príomh Aire or President of Dáil Éireann and later as the President of the Republic. Under the 1922–1937 Irish Free State the head of government was the President of the Executive Council. There also briefly existed, immediately before the creation of the Irish Free State, an interim office of Chairman of the Provisional Government. For a brief period in 1921 the offices of President of the Republic and Chairman of the Provisional Government existed simultaneously.

Offices[edit]

Head Deputy Cabinet State Constitution Date
President of Dáil Éireann[1] N/A Aireacht (Ministry) Irish Republic Dáil Constitution 21 January 1919 – 6 December 1922
Chairman of the Provisional Government N/A Provisional Government Southern Ireland Irish Free State (Agreement) Act, 1922 3 May 1921 – 6 December 1922
President of the Executive Council Vice-President Executive Council Irish Free State Constitution of the Irish Free State 6 December 1922 – 29 December 1937
Taoiseach Tánaiste Government Ireland Constitution of Ireland 29 December 1937 – present

List of office holders[edit]

# Name Picture Entered Office Left Office Party
1. Cathal Brugha Cathalbrugha.JPG 21 January 1919 1 April 1919 Sinn Féin
2. Éamon de Valera
(1st time)
Eamon de Valera c 1922-30.jpg 1 April 1919 9 January 1922 Sinn Féin
3. Arthur Griffith[2] Arthur Griffith (1871-1922).jpg 10 January 1922 12 August 1922 Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty faction)
4. Michael Collins[2] Michael Collins 1921.jpg 16 January 1922 22 August 1922 Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty faction)
5. W. T. Cosgrave WTCosgrave2.jpg 22 August 1922 9 March 1932 Cumann na nGaedheal[3]
Éamon de Valera
(2nd time)
Eamon de Valera c 1922-30.jpg 9 March 1932 18 February 1948 Fianna Fáil
6. John A. Costello
(1st time)
No image.png 18 February 1948 13 June 1951 Fine Gael
Éamon de Valera
(3rd time)
Eamon de Valera c 1922-30.jpg 13 June 1951 2 June 1954 Fianna Fáil
John A. Costello
(2nd time)
No image.png 2 June 1954 20 March 1957 Fine Gael
Éamon de Valera
(4th time)
Eamon de Valera c 1922-30.jpg 20 March 1957 23 June 1959 Fianna Fáil
7. Seán Lemass No image.png 23 June 1959 10 November 1966 Fianna Fáil
8. Jack Lynch
(1st time)
No image.png 10 November 1966 14 March 1973 Fianna Fáil
9. Liam Cosgrave No image.png 14 March 1973 5 July 1977 Fine Gael
Jack Lynch
(2nd time)
No image.png 5 July 1977 11 December 1979 Fianna Fáil
10. Charles Haughey
(1st time)
No image.png 11 December 1979 30 June 1981 Fianna Fáil
11. Garret FitzGerald
(1st time)
Garretfitzgerald.jpg 30 June 1981 9 March 1982 Fine Gael
Charles Haughey
(2nd time)
No image.png 9 March 1982 14 December 1982 Fianna Fáil
Garret FitzGerald
(2nd time)
Garretfitzgerald.jpg 14 December 1982 10 March 1987 Fine Gael
Charles Haughey
(3rd time)
No image.png 10 March 1987 11 February 1992 Fianna Fáil
12. Albert Reynolds No image.png 11 February 1992 15 December 1994 Fianna Fáil
13. John Bruton BrutonJohn.png 15 December 1994 26 June 1997 Fine Gael
14. Bertie Ahern BertieAhernBerlin2007.jpg 26 June 1997 6 May 2008 Fianna Fáil
15. Brian Cowen Brian Cowennoflag.jpg 7 May 2008 9 March 2011 Fianna Fáil
16. Enda Kenny EndaKenny.jpg 9 March 2011 Incumbent Fine Gael

Northern Ireland[edit]

The most recent devolved cabinet in Northern Ireland is the Northern Ireland Executive, established under the Belfast Agreement. The Executive has been in operation, intermittently, since 1999; but has existed continuously since 2007. Since 1921, there have been three different prime ministerial offices in Northern Ireland.

Offices[edit]

Office Cabinet Date
Prime Minister Government 1921–1971
Chief Executive Executive (Sunningdale) 1973–1974
First Minister Executive 1998–present

List of office holders[edit]

# Name Picture Entered Office Left Office Party
1. Sir James Craig
(after 1927, the Viscount Craigavon)
James Craig Viscount Craigavon.jpg 7 June 1921 24 November 1940 Ulster Unionist Party
2. J. M. Andrews Johnmillerandrews.jpg 25 November 1940 1 May 1943 Ulster Unionist Party
3. Sir Basil Brooke
(after 1952, the Viscount Brookeborough)
No image.png 1 May 1943 25 March 1963 Ulster Unionist Party
4. Terence O'Neill No image.png 25 March 1963 1 May 1969 Ulster Unionist Party
5. James Chichester-Clark No image.png 1 May 1969 23 March 1971 Ulster Unionist Party
6. Brian Faulkner
(1st time)
No image.png 23 March 1971 30 March 1972 Ulster Unionist Party
Brian Faulkner
(2nd time)
No image.png 1 January 1974 28 May 1974 Ulster Unionist Party
7. David Trimble David Trimble at Lisburn Seed Group benefit, Hillsborough Castle, Christmas 2007 crop.jpg 1 July 1998 14 October 2002 Ulster Unionist Party
8. Ian Paisley Ian Paisley - (cropped).png 8 May 2007 5 June 2008 Democratic Unionist Party
9. Peter Robinson Peter Robinson at Titanic Belfast (Cropped).jpg 5 June 2008 Incumbent Democratic Unionist Party

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The Príomh Aire, also known as President of Dáil Éireann, was upgraded to a head of state-level President of the Irish Republic in August 1921.
  2. ^ a b From January to August 1922 there were two administrations operating in parallel, the Provisional Government and the Ministry of the Irish Republic, and each cabinet had an overlapping membership. Thus, during this time, there were two heads of government, Arthur Griffith, as President of the Republic, and Michael Collins as Chairman of the Provisional Government of Southern Ireland. This anomalous situation came about because the British Government would only recognise the parliament that it had established through the Government of Ireland Act, so Sinn Féin participated in the charade to move matters along. The dual leadership came to an end when W. T. Cosgrave assumed both offices on the deaths of Griffith, on 12 August 1922, and Collins, on 22 August, and merged the two parallel administrations.
  3. ^ When W. T. Cosgrave first became head of government he was still technically a member of Sinn Féin. However the pro-Treaty faction of Sinn Féin reformed itself as Cumann na nGaedheal shortly afterwards.