Minister for Defence (Ireland)

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Minister for Defence
Irish Government Logo.png
Simon Coveney 2018.jpg
Incumbent
Simon Coveney

since 27 June 2020
Department of Defence
Member ofGovernment of Ireland
NominatorTaoiseach
AppointerPresident
Inaugural holderRichard Mulcahy
Formation22 January 1919
WebsiteDepartment of Defence

The Minister for Defence (Irish: An tAire Cosanta) is the senior minister at the Department of Defence in the Government of Ireland. The current Minister for Defence is Simon Coveney, TD.[1] He is also Minister for Foreign Affairs.

The Department is responsible for the Irish Defence Forces. The Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924 assigned the minister the additional title of Commander-in-Chief as the Chairman of the Council of Defence. The Defence Act 1954 removed this title, as a result of the reconstitution of the Council of Defence. The President of Ireland, a largely ceremonial role, is considered the Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces.[2] In practice, the Minister acts on the President's behalf and reports to the Irish Government. The Minister for Defence is advised by the Council of Defence on the business of the Department of Defence.[3]

From 1978 to 2020, the Minister for Defence was assisted by the junior ministerial role of Minister of State at the Department of Defence.

Ministers for Defence since 1919[edit]

  Denotes acting Minister
No. Name Term of office Party Government(s)[a]
1 Richard Mulcahy[b] (1st time) 22 January 1919 1 April 1919 Sinn Féin 1st DM
2 Cathal Brugha[c] 1 April 1919 9 January 1922 Sinn Féin 2nd DM · 3rd DM
Richard Mulcahy (2nd time) 10 January 1922 19 March 1924 Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty) 4th DM · 1st PG · 2nd PG · 5th DM ·
1st EC · 2nd EC
3 W. T. Cosgrave (acting) 20 March 1924 21 November 1924 Cumann na nGaedheal 2nd EC
4 Peter Hughes 21 November 1924 23 June 1927 Cumann na nGaedheal 2nd EC
5 Desmond FitzGerald 23 June 1927 9 March 1932 Cumann na nGaedheal 3rd EC · 4th EC · 5th EC
6 Frank Aiken 9 March 1932 8 September 1939 Fianna Fáil 6th EC · 7th EC · 8th EC · 1st · 2nd
7 Oscar Traynor (1st time) 8 September 1939 18 February 1948 Fianna Fáil 2nd · 3rd · 4th
8 Thomas F. O'Higgins 18 February 1948 7 March 1951 Fine Gael 5th
9 Seán Mac Eoin (1st time) 7 March 1951 13 June 1951 Fine Gael 5th
Oscar Traynor (2nd time) 13 June 1951 2 June 1954 Fianna Fáil 6th
Seán Mac Eoin (2nd time) 2 June 1954 20 March 1957 Fine Gael 7th
10 Kevin Boland 20 March 1957 11 October 1961 Fianna Fáil 8th · 9th
11 Gerald Bartley 11 October 1961 21 April 1965 Fianna Fáil 10th
12 Michael Hilliard 21 April 1965 2 July 1969 Fianna Fáil 11th · 12th
13 Jim Gibbons 2 July 1969 9 May 1970 Fianna Fáil 13th
14 Jerry Cronin 9 May 1970 14 March 1973 Fianna Fáil 13th
15 Paddy Donegan 14 March 1973 2 December 1976 Fine Gael 14th
16 Liam Cosgrave (acting)[d] 2 December 1976 16 December 1976 Fine Gael 14th
17 Oliver J. Flanagan 16 December 1976 5 July 1977 Fine Gael 14th
18 Bobby Molloy 5 July 1977 11 December 1979 Fianna Fáil 15th
19 Pádraig Faulkner 12 December 1979 15 October 1980 Fianna Fáil 16th
20 Sylvester Barrett 15 October 1980 30 June 1981 Fianna Fáil 16th
21 James Tully 30 June 1981 9 March 1982 Labour Party 17th
22 Paddy Power 9 March 1982 14 December 1982 Fianna Fáil 18th
23 Patrick Cooney 14 December 1982 14 February 1986 Fine Gael 19th
24 Paddy O'Toole 14 February 1986 10 March 1987 Fine Gael 19th
25 Michael J. Noonan 10 March 1987 12 July 1989 Fianna Fáil 20th
26 Brian Lenihan 12 July 1989 31 October 1990 Fianna Fáil 21st
27 Charles Haughey (acting)[d] 1 November 1990 5 February 1991 Fianna Fáil 21st
28 Brendan Daly 5 February 1991 14 November 1991 Fianna Fáil 21st
29 Vincent Brady 14 November 1991 11 February 1992 Fianna Fáil 21st
30 John Wilson 11 February 1992 12 January 1993 Fianna Fáil 22nd
31 David Andrews[e] (1st time) 12 January 1993 15 December 1994 Fianna Fáil 23rd
32 Hugh Coveney[e] 15 December 1994 23 May 1995 Fine Gael 24th
33 Seán Barrett[e] 23 May 1995 26 June 1997 Fine Gael 24th
David Andrews (2nd time) 26 June 1997 8 October 1997 Fianna Fáil 25th
34 Michael Smith 8 October 1997 29 September 2004 Fianna Fáil 25th · 26th
35 Willie O'Dea 29 September 2004 18 February 2010 Fianna Fáil 26th · 27th · 28th
36 Brian Cowen (acting)[d] 18 February 2010 23 March 2010 Fianna Fáil 28th
37 Tony Killeen 23 March 2010 19 January 2011 Fianna Fáil 28th
38 Éamon Ó Cuív[f] 20 January 2011 9 March 2011 Fianna Fáil 28th
39 Alan Shatter[g] 9 March 2011 7 May 2014 Fine Gael 29th
40 Enda Kenny (acting)[d] 7 May 2014 11 July 2014 Fine Gael 29th
41 Simon Coveney[h] (1st time) 11 July 2014 6 May 2016 Fine Gael 29th
Enda Kenny[d] 6 May 2016 14 June 2017 Fine Gael 30th
42 Leo Varadkar[d] 14 June 2017 27 June 2020 Fine Gael 31st
Simon Coveney[i] (2nd time) 27 June 2020 Incumbent Fine Gael 32nd
Notes
  1. ^ Before 1937: DM – Dáil Ministry; PG – Provisional Government; EC – Executive Council.
  2. ^ On the first occasion he served as minister Mulcahy bore the title Minister for National Defence.
  3. ^ Brugha bore the title Secretary of State for Defence.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Also Taoiseach.
  5. ^ a b c Also Minister for the Marine.
  6. ^ Also Minister for Social Protection and (from 23 January) Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government.
  7. ^ Also Minister for Justice and Equality.
  8. ^ Also Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
  9. ^ Also Minister for Foreign Affairs.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of Ministers and Ministers of State", Government of Ireland, retrieved 31 July 2020
  2. ^ Defence Act 1954
  3. ^ "Ministers And Secretaries Act 1924, Section 8: Constitution of the Council of Defence". Retrieved 27 June 2020. the Minister for Defence […] shall be assisted by a Council of Defence

External links[edit]