Minister for Posts and Telegraphs

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For the comparable French agency, see Minister of Posts, Telegraphs, and Telephones.
The original logo of the department, including the Tironian et symbol, is still often seen on earlier postboxes and other older property.
Pre-1984 manhole cover showing the PT logo

The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Irish: Aire Puist agus Telegrafa; sometimes called the P&T or stylised the P+T) was a senior post in the government of the Irish Free State and Ireland from 1924 to 1984, when the post and the department was abolished.

The office of Minister for Post and Telegraphs was created in the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924, which reorganised the Irish system of government. It assumed the role in the Irish Free State of that formerly exercised by the Postmaster General of the United Kingdom. Legislation of 1831 had amalgamated the offices of Postmaster General of Great Britain and Postmasters General of Ireland, a jointly held role in the administration of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

This later and final version of the logo of the department was most commonly associated with the orange and white postal vans.

The Ministers and Secretaries Act, Section (1), Part (ix) defines the department's role:

The Department of Posts and Telegraphs which shall comprise the administration and business generally of public services in connection with posts, telegraphs, and telephones, and all powers, duties and functions connected with the same, and shall include in particular the business, powers, duties and functions of the branches and officers of the public services specified in the Eighth Part of the Schedule to this Act, and of which Department the head shall be, and shall be styled, an t-Aire Puist agus Telegrafa or (in English) the Minister for Posts and Telegraphs.

— Ministers and Secretaries Act, Section (1), Part (ix)

The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs was responsible for Ireland's postal and telecommunications services from 1924 to 1984. At its height time the department was one of the largest civil service departments in Ireland. The reform of the sector and department began in 1978 with the creation of the Posts and Telegraphs Review Group. This led after a report was delivered in 1979, to the creation of the ad-hoc Interim Board for Posts (An Bord Poist), chaired by Feargal Quinn, and the Interim Board for Telecommunications (An Bord Telecom), chaired by Michael Smurfit. These two boards continued to sit until An Post and Telecom Éireann, respectively, replaced them. These state-sponsored bodies were created in 1984.

The Minister of Posts and Telegraphs ceased to exist at that time, and its powers and responsibilities were transferred to the newly created office of Minister for Communications; this was one of the largest reorganisations of the civil service in modern times with it having a workforce of about 30,000 prior to dissolution. As a result, the number of civil service employees nearly halved overnight because of the transfer of personnel.

List of office-holders[edit]

Postmaster General 1922–1924[edit]

No. Name Term of office Party
1. James J. Walsh 1 April 1922 2 June 1924 Cumann na nGaedheal

Minister for Posts and Telegraphs 1924–1984[edit]

No. Name Term of office Party
James J. Walsh 2 June 1924 12 October 1927 Cumann na nGaedheal
2. Ernest Blythe 12 October 1927 9 March 1932 Cumann na nGaedheal
3. Joseph Connolly 9 March 1932 8 February 1933 Fianna Fáil
4. Gerald Boland 8 February 1933 11 November 1936 Fianna Fáil
5. Oscar Traynor 11 November 1936 8 September 1939 Fianna Fáil
6. Thomas Derrig 8 September 1939 27 September 1939 Fianna Fáil
7. Patrick Little 27 September 1939 18 February 1948 Fianna Fáil
8. James Everett 18 February 1948 13 June 1951 National Labour Party
9. Erskine H. Childers (1st time) 13 June 1951 2 June 1954 Fianna Fáil
10. Michael Keyes 2 June 1954 20 March 1957 Labour Party
11. Neil Blaney 20 March 1957 4 December 1957 Fianna Fáil
12. John Ormonde 4 December 1957 23 June 1959 Fianna Fáil
13. Michael Hilliard 23 June 1959 21 April 1965 Fianna Fáil
14. Joseph Brennan 21 April 1965 10 November 1966 Fianna Fáil
Erskine H. Childers (2nd time) 10 November 1966 2 July 1969 Fianna Fáil
15. Patrick Lalor 2 July 1969 9 May 1970 Fianna Fáil
16. Gerry Collins 9 May 1970 14 March 1973 Fianna Fáil
17. Conor Cruise O'Brien 14 March 1973 5 July 1977 Labour Party
18. Pádraig Faulkner 5 July 1977 11 December 1979 Fianna Fáil
19. Albert Reynolds 12 December 1979 30 June 1981 Fianna Fáil
20. Patrick Cooney 30 June 1981 9 March 1982 Fine Gael
21. John Wilson 9 March 1982 14 December 1982 Fianna Fáil
22. Jim Mitchell 14 December 1982 2 January 1984 Fine Gael