Department of Social Protection

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Department of Social Protection
Busaras, Dublin ( DSC6356).jpg
Seat of the Department above the Dublin bus terminal
Department overview
Formed 22 January 1947 (1947-01-22)
Jurisdiction Government of Ireland
Headquarters Áras Mhic Dhiarmada, Store Street, Dublin 1, D01 WY03
53°20′59″N 6°15′8″W / 53.34972°N 6.25222°W / 53.34972; -6.25222
Employees 5,175
Minister responsible
Department executive

The Department of Social Protection (Irish: An Roinn Coimirce Sóisialaí) is a department of the Government of Ireland, tasked with administering Ireland's welfare system. It oversees the provision of income support and other social services. It is led by the Minister for Social Protection who is assisted by one Minister of State.

Departmental team[edit]

The official headquarters and ministerial offices of the department are in Áras Mhic Dhiarmada, Store Street, Dublin. The departmental team consists of the following:


In carrying out its mandate the department undertakes a variety of functions including:

The department formulates appropriate social protection policies and administers and manages the delivery of statutory and non-statutory schemes and services. It is responsible for the delivery of a range of social insurance and social assistance schemes including provision for unemployment, illness, maternity, caring, widowhood, retirement and old age. Payments are made to nearly 950,000 people each week with over 1.5 million people directly benefiting from those payments. The budget spend in 2002 was €9.52 billion.In 2010 it will be in excess of 13.59 billion

Payments are generally divided into three groups:

  • Social Insurance (or contributory) payments which are made on the basis of PRSI Contributions.
  • Social Assistance (or non-contributory) payments which are made on the basis of satisfying a means test.
  • Universal payments (such as Child Benefit or Free Travel) which are not dependent on PRSI contributions or a means test.


  • Citizens Information Board
  • Pensions Board
  • Office of the Pensions Ombudsman


The department was formed in 1947 as the Department of Social Welfare. Its present title dates from 23 March 2010.

Over the years its name has changed several times, however, the role of the department has remained the same. The department has been known as the following:

  • Department of Social Welfare (1947–1997)
  • Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs (1997–2002)
  • Department of Social and Family Affairs (2002–2010)
  • Department of Social Protection (2010–present)


  1. ^ "The Secretary General, Ms Niamh O'Donoghue". Department of Social Protection. Retrieved 29 September 2011. 

External links[edit]