Minister for Posts and Telegraphs
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.
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
Postmaster General 1922–1924
|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
|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|