Minister of State (Ireland)
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
the Republic of Ireland
A Minister of State (Irish: Aire Stáit) in Ireland (also called a junior minister) is of non-Cabinet rank attached to one or more Departments of State of the Government of Ireland and assists a Minister of the Government.
Unlike other government ministers who are appointed by the President of Ireland on the advice of the Taoiseach, with the prior nomination of Dáil Éireann, Ministers of State are appointed by the cabinet, on nomination of the Taoiseach. The title Minister of State is dissimilar and its role is less than that of a Secretary of State in the Government of the United Kingdom.
The post of Minister of State was created by the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 1977 and commenced in 1978, and under the Act a Minister of State may be delegated a power or duty of the Minister of the Government they support. The position was created to replace the post of Parliamentary Secretary, the junior rank of ministers which had existed from 1924 until 1978. In the original act of 1977 the number of Ministers of State was limited to 10, but in 1980 this was raised to 15, and in 1995 it was raised to 17, and in 2007 it was raised to 20. Brian Cowen asked all 20 Ministers of State to resign on 21 April 2009. He re-appointed a reduced number of 15 ministers the following day, when the Dáil resumed after the Easter recess.
Some Ministers of State attend cabinet meetings but do not have a vote. The Government Chief Whip automatically attends and in some governments an additional Minister of State is often appointed to attend cabinet. They are usually described as a "Super Junior" minister. The current Super Junior is Gerald Nash of Labour who is Super Junior Minister of State for Business and Employment with special responsibility for small business, collective bargaining and Low pay commission at the Department Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation.
- Ministers of State of the 31st Dáil
- Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach
- Minister of State at the Department of Defence
- Minister of State at the Department of Finance
- Minister of State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health
- Minister of State for European Affairs
- Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety
- Minister of State for Trade and Development
- "Number of junior ministers to be cut". RTÉ News. 6 April 2009. Retrieved 6 April 2009.
- "Two new junior ministers revealed". RTÉ News. 22 April 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
- "No changes for Noonan and Howlin in reshuffle". RTÉ News. 15 July 2014.
- "Ministers of State". Department of the Taoiseach. Retrieved 15 July 2014.