Tánaiste

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Tánaiste of Ireland
Eamon Gilmore Conference 2010 cropped.jpg
Incumbent
Eamon Gilmore

since 9 March 2011
Appointer President of Ireland on the nomination of the Taoiseach
Inaugural holder Seán T. O'Kelly[1]
Formation 29 December 1937[1]
Salary €184,405[2]

The Tánaiste /ˈtɔːnɨʃtə/[3] is the deputy prime minister of Ireland and the second-most senior officer in the Government of Ireland.[4] The Tánaiste is appointed by the President of Ireland on the advice of the Taoiseach. The current office holder is the leader of the Labour Party, Eamon Gilmore TD who was appointed on 9 March 2011.

Overview[edit]

Origins and etymology[edit]

Tánaiste was originally the Irish word for the heir of the chief (taoiseach) or king (), under the Gaelic system of tanistry. Before independence, the British Lord Lieutenant of Ireland or Viceroy was sometimes referred to in the Irish language as An Tánaiste-Rí, literally 'the deputy king'.

Modern office[edit]

The office was created in the 1937 Constitution of Ireland, replacing the previous office of Vice-President of the Executive Council that had existed under the Free State constitution. This office was first held by Kevin O'Higgins of Cumann na nGaedheal from 1922 to 1927, and then by Ernest Blythe from 1927 to 1932.

The Taoiseach nominates a member of Dáil Éireann,[5] who will also be a member of the government, to the office. The nominee then receives his seal of office from the President of Ireland in recognition of his appointment. The Tánaiste acts in the place of the Taoiseach during his or her temporary absence. In the event of the Taoiseach's death or permanent incapacitation, the Tánaiste acts in his stead until another Taoiseach is appointed.[6] The Tánaiste is, ex officio, a member of the Council of State. The Tánaiste chairs meetings of the government in the Taoiseach's absence and may take questions on his behalf in the Dáil or Seanad.

Aside from these duties, the title is largely honorific as the Constitution does not confer any additional powers on the office holder. Under a coalition government the position is commonly held by the leader of the second-largest party who in this situation is free to head any department he or she wants. Recent office-holders, such as Michael McDowell, Mary Harney and Dick Spring, have been leaders of smaller parties. The incumbent, Eamon Gilmore, is the leader of the second largest party in the Dáil as part of a coalition government.

List of office-holders[edit]

Vice-President of the Executive Council[edit]

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Constituency
Portrait Term of office Party Ministerial offices
held while in post
Subsequent higher
offices held
1. Kevin O'Higgins
(1892–1927)
TD for Leix–Offaly until 1923
TD for Dublin County from 1923
Kevin O'Higgins.jpg 6 December 1922 10 July 1927 Cumann na nGaedheal Justice (1922–27)
2. Ernest Blythe
(1889–1975)
TD for Monaghan
14 July 1927 9 March 1932 Cumann na nGaedheal Posts and Telegraphs (1927–32)
3. Seán T. O'Kelly
(1882–1966)
TD for Dublin North until 1937
TD for Dublin North–West from 1937
O Ceallaigh.jpg 9 March 1932 29 December 1937 Fianna Fáil Local Government and Public Health (1932–37) President of Ireland (1945–59)

Tánaiste[edit]

No. Name
(Birth–Death)
Constituency
Portrait Term of office Party Ministerial offices
held while in post
Subsequent higher
offices held
3. Seán T. O'Kelly
(1882–1966)
TD for Dublin North-West
Sean T OKelly WhiteHouse 19390517.jpg 29 December 1937 14 June 1945 Fianna Fáil Local Government and Public Health (1937–39)
Education (1939)
Finance (1939–45)
President of Ireland (1945–59)
4. Seán Lemass
(1899–1971)
TD for Dublin South
14 June 1945 18 February 1948 Fianna Fáil Supplies (1945)
Industry and Commerce (1945–48)
Taoiseach (1959–66)
5. William Norton
(1900–1963)
TD for Kildare
18 February 1948 13 June 1951 Labour Party Social Welfare (1948–51)
(4) Seán Lemass
(1899–1971)
TD for Dublin South–Central
13 June 1951 2 June 1954 Fianna Fáil Industry and Commerce (1951–54) Taoiseach (1959–66)
(5) William Norton
(1900–1963)
TD for Kildare
2 June 1954 20 March 1957 Labour Party Industry and Commerce (1954–57)
(4) Seán Lemass
(1899–1971)
TD for Dublin South–Central
20 March 1957 23 June 1959 Fianna Fáil Industry and Commerce (1957–59) Taoiseach (1959–66)
6. Seán MacEntee
(1889–1984)
TD for Dublin South–East
23 June 1959 21 April 1965 Fianna Fáil Health (1959–65)
7. Frank Aiken
(1898–1983)
TD for Louth
21 April 1965 2 July 1969 Fianna Fáil External Affairs (1965–69)
8. Erskine H. Childers
(1905–1974)
TD for Monaghan
2 July 1969 14 March 1973 Fianna Fáil Health (1969–73) President of Ireland (1973–74)
9. Brendan Corish
(1918–1990)
TD for Wexford
14 March 1973 5 July 1977 Labour Party Health (1973–77)
10. George Colley
(1925–1983)
TD for Dublin Clontarf
5 July 1977 30 June 1981 Fianna Fáil Finance (1977–79)
Tourism and Transport (1979–80)
Energy (1980–81)
11. Michael O'Leary
(1936–2006)
TD for Dublin Central
30 June 1981 9 March 1982 Labour Party Energy (1981–82)
12. Ray MacSharry
(born 1938)
TD for Sligo–Leitrim
9 March 1982 14 December 1982 Fianna Fáil Finance (1982)
13. Dick Spring
(born 1950)
TD for Kerry North
14 December 1982 20 January 1987 Labour Party Environment (1982–83)
Energy (1983–87)
14. Peter Barry
(born 1928)
TD for Cork South–Central
20 January 1987 10 March 1987 Fine Gael Foreign Affairs (1987)
15. Brian Lenihan
(1930–1995)
TD for Dublin West
10 March 1987 31 October 1990 Fianna Fáil Foreign Affairs (1987–89)
Defence (1989–90)
16. John Wilson
(1923–2007)
TD for Cavan-Monaghan
13 November 1990 12 January 1993 Fianna Fáil Marine (1990–92)
Defence (1992–93)
(13) Dick Spring
(born 1950)
TD for Kerry North
12 January 1993 17 November 1994 Labour Party Foreign Affairs (1993–94)
17. Bertie Ahern
(born 1951)
TD for Dublin Central
BertieAhernBerlin2007.jpg 17 November 1994 15 December 1994 Fianna Fáil Finance (1994) Taoiseach (1997–2008)
(13) Dick Spring
(born 1950)
TD for Kerry North
15 December 1994 26 June 1997 Labour Party Foreign Affairs (1994–97)
18. Mary Harney
(born 1953)
TD for Dublin South–West until 2002
TD for Dublin Mid–West from 2002
Mary Harney cropped.jpg 26 June 1997 13 September 2006 Progressive Democrats Enterprise, Trade and Employment (1997–2004)
Health and Children (2004–06)
19. Michael McDowell
(born 1951)
TD for Dublin South–East
13 September 2006 14 June 2007 Progressive Democrats Justice, Equality and Law Reform (2002–07)
20. Brian Cowen
(born 1960)
TD for Laois–Offaly
Brian Cowen in Philadelphia.jpg 14 June 2007 7 May 2008 Fianna Fáil Finance (2007–08) Taoiseach (2008–11)
21. Mary Coughlan
(born 1965)
TD for Donegal South–West
MaryCoughlan.jpg 7 May 2008 9 March 2011 Fianna Fáil Enterprise, Trade and Employment (2008–10)
Education and Skills (2010–11)
Health and Children (2011)
22. Eamon Gilmore
(born 1955)
TD for Dún Laoghaire
Eamon Gilmore Conference 2010 cropped.jpg 9 March 2011 Incumbent Labour Party Foreign Affairs and Trade (2011–)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Before the enactment of the 1937 Constitution of Ireland, the deputy head of government was referred to as the Vice-President of the Executive Council.
  2. ^ "Cabinet decides to cut pay for Ministers". RTÉ News. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  3. ^ Definition of Tánaiste in English. "Tánaiste: definition of Tánaiste in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). Meaning, pronunciation and origin of the word". Oxford Language Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Role of the Taoiseach". Department of the Taoiseach. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Article 28.7.1° of the Constitution of Ireland.
  6. ^ Article 28.6.2° and 28.6.3° of the Constitution of Ireland. [1]