24th Government of Ireland
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|Government of the 27th Dáil|
24th Government of Ireland
|Date formed||15 December 1994|
|Date dissolved||26 June 1997|
|People and organisations|
|Head of state||Mary Robinson|
|Head of government||John Bruton|
|Deputy head of government||Dick Spring|
|Total no. of ministers||15|
|Member parties||Fine Gael|
|Status in legislature||Coalition|
|Opposition leader||Bertie Ahern (Fianna Fáil)|
|Legislature term(s)||27th Dáil|
The 24th Government of Ireland (15 December 1994 – 26 June 1997) was the 2nd Government of the 27th Dáil. Known as the Rainbow Coalition, it was a coalition of Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Democratic Left. The Labour Party had been part of the 23rd Government with Fianna Fáil, formed after the 1992 general election, but left in 1994 following a number of scandals, particularly over the beef industry and the alleged mishandling of the prosecution of paedophile priest Brendan Smyth. After Albert Reynolds was replaced by Bertie Ahern as Fianna Fáil leader, there was speculation that Labour would rejoin Fianna Fáil in government, but instead it formed a government with two parties which had been in opposition. By-election gains since 1992 meant the three parties had enough TDs between them for an overall majority.
This was the first time, and as of 2018 the only time, in Irish political history that a new government was formed within the same Dáil term composed of different parties.
Nomination of Taoiseach vote
|15 December 1994|
Nomination of Taoiseach vote for John Bruton (FG)
Motion proposed by Nora Owen and seconded by Paddy Harte
Absolute majority: 84/166
|Yes||Fine Gael (47), Labour Party (32), Democratic Left (6)|
85 / 166
|No||Fianna Fáil (65), Progressive Democrats (9)|
74 / 166
|Not voting||Independent (3), Ceann Comhairle (1), Fianna Fáil (1), Green Party (1),
Independent Fianna Fáil (1)
7 / 166
|Source: Oireachtas Debates|
Ministers are listed by seniority.
Changes 23 May 1995
Hugh Coveney was demoted to a junior ministry in 1995 after allegations of improper contact with businessmen.
|Minister for Defence||Seán Barrett||1995–97||Fine Gael|
|Minister for the Marine|
Changes 30 November 1996
Michael Lowry resigned in 1996 following reports of improper payments from businessman Ben Dunne.
|Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications||John Bruton||(acting)||Fine Gael|
Changes 3 December 1996
|Minister for Transport, Energy and Communications||Alan Dukes||1996–97||Fine Gael|
- "History of Government – Twenty-Seventh Dáil". Department of the Taoiseach. Retrieved 20 October 2013.