Government of the 20th Dáil

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Government of the 20th Dáil
14th Government of Ireland
Date formed14 March 1973
Date dissolved5 July 1977
People and organisations
PresidentÉamon de Valera (1973)
Erskine H. Childers (1973–74)
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh (1974–76)
Patrick Hillery (1976–77)
TaoiseachLiam Cosgrave
TánaisteBrendan Corish
Total no. of ministers15
Member partiesFine Gael
Labour Party
Status in legislatureCoalition
Opposition partyFianna Fáil
Opposition leaderJack Lynch
History
Election(s)1973 general election
Legislature term(s)20th Dáil
Predecessor13th Government
Successor15th Government

The Government of the 20th Dáil or the 14th Government of Ireland (14 March 1973 – 5 July 1977) was the government of Ireland formed after the 1973 general election held on 28 February 1973. It was a coalition government of Fine Gael and the Labour Party, known as the National Coalition, led by Liam Cosgrave as Taoiseach with Brendan Corish as Tánaiste. It was the first time either of the parties had been in government since the Government of the 15th Dáil (1954–57), when they were in coalition with Clann na Talmhan.

The 14th Government lasted for 1,574 days.

14th Government of Ireland[edit]

Nomination of Taoiseach[edit]

The members of the 20th Dáil first met on 14 March 1973. On that date, the leader of Fianna Fáil and outgoing Taoiseach Jack Lynch, and the leader of Fine Gael Liam Cosgrave were both proposed for the nomination of the Dáil for appointment by the president to be Taoiseach.[1] The nomination of Lynch was defeated with 69 votes in favour to 73 against, while the nomination of Cosgrave was carried with 72 in favour and 70 against. Cosgrave was then appointed as Taoiseach by President Éamon de Valera.[2]

14 June 1973
Nomination of Liam Cosgrave (FG) for Taoiseach[3]
Motion proposed by Brendan Corish and seconded by Maurice E. Dockrell
Absolute majority: 73/144
Vote Parties Votes
☑Y Yes Fine Gael (54), Labour Party (18)
72 / 144
No Fianna Fáil (69), Independent Fianna Fáil (1)
70 / 144
Not voting Ceann Comhairle (1), Independent (1)
2 / 144

Members of the Government[edit]

After his appointment as Taoiseach by the president, Liam Cosgrave proposed the members of the government and they were approved by the Dáil.[2] They were appointed by the president on the same day.[4]

Office Name Term Party
Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave 1973–77 Fine Gael
Tánaiste Brendan Corish 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Health
Minister for Social Welfare
Minister for Agriculture[a] Mark Clinton 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Defence Paddy Donegan 1973–76 Fine Gael
Minister for Education Richard Burke 1973–76 Fine Gael
Minister for Finance Richie Ryan 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Foreign Affairs Garret FitzGerald 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for the Gaeltacht Tom O'Donnell 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Industry and Commerce Justin Keating 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Justice Patrick Cooney 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Labour Michael O'Leary 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Lands Tom Fitzpatrick 1973–76 Fine Gael
Minister for Local Government James Tully 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs Conor Cruise O'Brien 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Transport and Power Peter Barry 1973–76 Fine Gael

Changes 1 November 1973[edit]

Assignment of new department to Minister for Finance Richie Ryan.[7]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for the Public Service Richie Ryan 1973–77 Fine Gael

Changes 2 December 1976[edit]

On the nomination of Richard Burke as European Commissioner.[8]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for Education Peter Barry 1976–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Transport and Power Tom Fitzpatrick 1976–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Lands[b] Paddy Donegan 1976–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Defence Liam Cosgrave (acting) Fine Gael

Changes 16 December 1976[edit]

Re-assignment of the Department of Defence.[10][11]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for Defence Oliver J. Flanagan 1976–77 Fine Gael
Changes to departments
  1. ^ The Department of Agriculture and Fisheries was renamed as the Department of Agriculture on 9 February 1977.[5][6]
  2. ^ The Department of Lands was renamed as the Department of Fisheries on 9 February 1977.[9][6]

Attorney General[edit]

On 14 March 1973, Declan Costello SC was appointed by the president as Attorney General on the nomination of the Taoiseach.[2][4] On 19 May 1977, Costello resigned as Attorney General on his nomination by the government for appointment as a judge of the High Court and John M. Kelly SC was appointed as Attorney General.[12]

Actions of the government[edit]

The National Coalition restricted the power of the National Council for Educational Awards. This forced the National Institute for Higher Education, Limerick and Thomond College of Education, Limerick to apply to the National University of Ireland for the conferring of degrees and diplomas. It removed the requirement that Irish be passed to obtain a Leaving Certificate; it also reformed the civil service by removing the requirement of knowledge in Irish and the mandatory retirement on marriage that many women faced during their civil service careers.

In response to the assassination of the British Ambassador to Ireland Christopher Ewart-Biggs by the Provisional IRA on 21 July, Cosgrave introduced a motion to declare a national emergency under Article 28.3.3º of the Constitution of Ireland created by an armed conflict.[13] This was approved by the Dáil on 1 September by a vote of 70 to 65.[14] This was followed by the introduction of the Emergency Powers Bill 1976.

President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh referred the Emergency Powers Bill to the Supreme Court. Minister of Defence Paddy Donegan described the president as a "thundering disgrace" for this decision. The Minister apologised and privately offered to resign. Cosgrave refused to accept his resignation. Ó Dálaigh viewed the refusal to remove the Minister was an affront to his office by the Government and resigned on 22 October 1976. This controversy caused severe damage to the image of the government.

See also[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Nomination of Taoiseach – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Wednesday, 14 March 1973". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  2. ^ a b c "Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Wednesday, 14 March 1973". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Nomination of Taoiseach – Votes – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Wednesday, 14 March 1973". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  4. ^ a b "Appointment of Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Wednesday, 14 March 1973". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  5. ^ "Agriculture and Fisheries (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 1977". Irish Statute Book. 8 February 1977. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Transfer of Departmental Functions: Statement by Taoiseach – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Tuesday, 8 February 1977". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  7. ^ "Department of the Public Service: Statement by the Taoiseach – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Thursday, 1 November 1973". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  8. ^ "Ministerial Appointments: Statement by the Taoiseach – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Thursday, 2 December 1976". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  9. ^ "Lands (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 1977". Irish Statute Book. 8 February 1977. Retrieved 8 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Nomination of Member of Government: Motion – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Wednesday, 15 December 1976". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 19 August 2019.; "Nomination of Member of Government: Motion (Resumed) – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Wednesday, 15 December 1976". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  11. ^ "Appointment of Minister and Parliamentary Secretary – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Tuesday, 25 January 1977". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  12. ^ "Appointment of Attorney General – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Thursday, 19 May 1977". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 8 February 2020.
  13. ^ "National Emergency: Motion – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Tuesday, 31 August 1976". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 22 April 2020.
  14. ^ "National Emergency: Motion (Resumed) – Dáil Éireann (20th Dáil) – Wednesday, 1 September 1976". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 22 April 2020.