Tánaiste

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Tánaiste of Ireland
Coat of arms of Ireland.svg
Flag of Ireland.svg
Frances Fitzgerald 2014.png
Incumbent
Frances Fitzgerald

since 6 May 2016
Appointer President of Ireland on the nomination of the Taoiseach
Inaugural holder Seán T. O'Kelly[1]
Formation 29 December 1937[1]
Salary €171,309[2]

The Tánaiste (/ˈtɔːnʃtə/)[3] is the deputy prime minister of Ireland and the second-most senior officer in the Government of Ireland.[4] The Tánaiste is appointed by the President of Ireland on the advice of the Taoiseach. The current office holder is Frances Fitzgerald TD who was appointed on 6 May 2016.[5]

Overview[edit]

Origins and etymology[edit]

Tánaiste (Irish pronunciation: [ˈt̪ˠaːnˠaʃtʲə]) was the Irish word for the heir of the chief (taoiseach) or king (), under the Gaelic system of tanistry. Before independence, the British Lord Lieutenant of Ireland or Viceroy was sometimes referred to in the Irish language as An Tánaiste-Rí, literally 'the deputy king'.

Modern office[edit]

The office was created in 1937 under the new Constitution of Ireland, replacing the previous office of Vice-President of the Executive Council that had existed under the Free State constitution. This office was first held by Kevin O'Higgins of Cumann na nGaedheal from 1922 to 1927.

The Taoiseach nominates a member of Dáil Éireann,[6] who will also be a member of the government, to the office. The nominee then receives his seal of office from the President of Ireland in recognition of his appointment. The Tánaiste acts in the place of the Taoiseach during his or her temporary absence. In the event of the Taoiseach's death or permanent incapacitation, the Tánaiste acts in his stead until another Taoiseach is appointed.[7] The Tánaiste is, ex officio, a member of the Council of State. The Tánaiste chairs meetings of the government in the Taoiseach's absence and may take questions on his behalf in the Dáil or Seanad.

Aside from these duties, the title is largely honorific as the Constitution does not confer any additional powers on the office holder. While the Department of the Taoiseach is a Department of State, there is no equivalent for the Tánaiste. In theory the Tánaiste could be a minister without portfolio but in practice every Tánaiste has in parallel held a ministerial portfolio as head of a Department of State. Dick Spring in the 1994–97 "Rainbow Coalition" had an official "Office of the Tánaiste", though other parties have not used this nomenclature.[8] Under Spring, Eithne Fitzgerald was "Minister of State at the Office of the Tánaiste", with responsibility for coordinating Labour policy in the coalition.[9][10]

Under a coalition government, the Tánaiste is typically the leader of the second-largest government party, just as the Taoiseach is usually leader of the largest; however, during the 1989–92 and the 2007–11 governments, the position was held by a Fianna Fáil member, although they were in coalition.

Three Tánaistí later held the office of Taoiseach: Seán Lemass, Bertie Ahern, and Brian Cowen. Two Tánaistí were later elected as President of Ireland: Seán T. O'Kelly and Erskine H. Childers.

List of office-holders[edit]

Vice-President of the Executive Council[edit]

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Constituency
Term of office Party Exec. Council
(President)
Ministries as Vice-President
1 Kevin O'Higgins.jpg Kevin O'Higgins
(1892–1927)
TD for Leix–Offaly until 1923
TD for Dublin County from 1923
6 December 1922 10 July
1927
Cumann na nGaedheal 1·2
(W.T.Cosgrave)
Justice (1922–27)
2 Ernest Blythe
(1889–1975)
TD for Monaghan
14 July
1927
9 March 1932 Cumann na nGaedheal 3·4·5
(W.T.Cosgrave)
Posts and Telegraphs (1927–32)
3 Sean T OKelly WhiteHouse 19390517.jpg Seán T. O'Kelly
(1882–1966)
TD for Dublin North until 1937
TD for Dublin North-West from 1937
9 March 1932 29 December 1937 Fianna Fáil 6·7·8
(de Valera)
Local Government and Public Health (1932–37)

Tánaiste[edit]

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Constituency
Term of office Party Government
(Taoiseach)
Ministries as Tánaiste
Subsequent higher offices
(3) Sean T OKelly WhiteHouse 19390517.jpg Seán T. O'Kelly
(1882–1966)
TD for Dublin North-West
29 December 1937 14 June 1945 Fianna Fáil 1·2·3·4
(de Valera)
Local Government and Public Health (1937–39)
Education (1939)
Finance (1939–45)
President of Ireland (1945–59)
4 Seán Lemass
(1899–1971)
TD for Dublin South
14 June 1945 18 February 1948 Fianna Fáil 4
(de Valera)
Supplies (1945)
Industry and Commerce (1945–48)
5 William Norton
(1900–1963)
TD for Kildare
18 February 1948 13 June 1951 Labour 5
(Costello)
Social Welfare (1948–51)
(4) Seán Lemass
(1899–1971)
TD for Dublin South-Central
13 June 1951 2 June
1954
Fianna Fáil 6
(de Valera)
Industry and Commerce (1951–54)
(5) William Norton
(1900–1963)
TD for Kildare
2 June
1954
20 March 1957 Labour 7
(Costello)
Industry and Commerce (1954–57)
(4) Seán Lemass
(1899–1971)
TD for Dublin South-Central
20 March 1957 23 June 1959 Fianna Fáil 8
(de Valera)
Industry and Commerce (1957–59)
Taoiseach (1959–66)
6 Seán MacEntee
(1889–1984)
TD for Dublin South-East
23 June 1959 21 April 1965 Fianna Fáil 9·10
(Lemass)
Health (1959–65)
7 Frank Aiken
(1898–1983)
TD for Louth
21 April 1965 2 July
1969
Fianna Fáil 11
(Lemass)
12
(Lynch)
External Affairs (1965–69)
8 Erskine H. Childers
(1905–1974)
TD for Monaghan
2 July
1969
14 March 1973 Fianna Fáil 13
(Lynch)
Health (1969–73)
President of Ireland (1973–74)
9 Brendan Corish
(1918–1990)
TD for Wexford
14 March 1973 5 July
1977
Labour 14
(L. Cosgrave)
Health (1973–77)
10 George Colley
(1925–1983)
TD for Dublin Clontarf
5 July
1977
30 June 1981 Fianna Fáil 15
(Lynch)
16
(Haughey)
Finance (1977–79)
Tourism and Transport (1979–80)
Energy (1980–81)
11 Michael O'Leary
(1936–2006)
TD for Dublin Central
30 June 1981 9 March 1982 Labour 17
(FitzGerald)
Energy (1981–82)
11 Ray MacSharry
(born 1938)
TD for Sligo–Leitrim
9 March 1982 14 December 1982 Fianna Fáil 18
(Haughey)
Finance (1982)
13 Dick Spring
(born 1950)
TD for Kerry North
14 December 1982 20 January 1987 Labour 19
(FitzGerald)
Environment (1982–83)
Energy (1983–87)
14 Peter Barry
(1928–2016)
TD for Cork South-Central
20 January 1987 10 March 1987 Fine Gael Foreign Affairs (1987)
15 Brian Lenihan
(1930–1995)
TD for Dublin West
10 March 1987 31 October 1990 Fianna Fáil 20·21
(Haughey)
Foreign Affairs (1987–89)
Defence (1989–90)
16 John Wilson
(1923–2007)
TD for Cavan–Monaghan
13 November 1990 12 January 1993 Fianna Fáil 21
(Haughey)
22
(Reynolds)
Marine (1990–92)
Defence (1992–93)
(13) Dick Spring
(born 1950)
TD for Kerry North
12 January 1993 17 November 1994 Labour 23
(Reynolds)
Foreign Affairs (1993–94)
17 BertieAhernBerlin2007-bis.jpg Bertie Ahern
(born 1951)
TD for Dublin Central
17 November 1994 15 December 1994 Fianna Fáil Finance (1994)
Taoiseach (1997–2008)
(13) Dick Spring
(born 1950)
TD for Kerry North
15 December 1994 26 June 1997 Labour 24
(Bruton)
Foreign Affairs (1994–97)
18 Mary Harney cropped.jpg Mary Harney
(born 1953)
TD for Dublin South-West until 2002
TD for Dublin Mid-West from 2002
26 June 1997 13 September
2006
Progressive Democrats 25·26
(Ahern)
Enterprise, Trade and Employment (1997–2004)
Health and Children (2004–06)
19 Michael McDowell
(born 1951)
TD for Dublin South-East
13 September
2006
14 June 2007 Progressive Democrats 26
(Ahern)
Justice, Equality and Law Reform (2002–07)
20 Brian Cowen in Philadelphia.jpg Brian Cowen
(born 1960)
TD for Laois–Offaly
14 June 2007 7 May
2008
Fianna Fáil 27
(Ahern)
Finance (2007–08)
Taoiseach (2008–11)
21 Mary Coughlan.jpg Mary Coughlan
(born 1965)
TD for Donegal South-West
7 May
2008
9 March 2011 Fianna Fáil 28
(Cowen)
Enterprise, Trade and Employment (2008–10)
Education and Skills (2010–11)
Health and Children (2011)
22 Eamon Gilmore Conference 2010 cropped.jpg Eamon Gilmore
(born 1955)
TD for Dún Laoghaire
9 March 2011 4 July
2014
Labour 29
(Kenny)
Foreign Affairs and Trade (2011–14)
23 Joan Burton July 2014 (cropped).jpg Joan Burton
(born 1949)
TD for Dublin West
4 July
2014
6 May
2016
Labour Social Protection (2014–2016)
24 Frances Fitzgerald 2014.png Frances Fitzgerald
(born 1950)
TD for Dublin Mid-West
6 May
2016
Incumbent Fine Gael 30
(Kenny)
Justice and Equality (2014–)

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Sources[edit]

Citations[edit]

  1. ^ a b Before the enactment of the 1937 Constitution of Ireland, the deputy head of government was referred to as the Vice-President of the Executive Council.
  2. ^ "Cabinet decides to cut pay for Ministers". RTÉ News. 10 March 2011. Retrieved 10 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "Tánaiste: definition of Tánaiste in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). Meaning, pronunciation and origin of the word". Oxford Language Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. 2013. Retrieved 30 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "Role of the Taoiseach". Department of the Taoiseach. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  5. ^ Doyle, Kevin; Niall, O'Connor (6 May 2016). "70 days later - Your new Government ministers revealed - Independent.ie". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 May 2016. 
  6. ^ Article 28.7.1° of the Constitution of Ireland.
  7. ^ Article 28.6.2° and 28.6.3° of the Constitution of Ireland. [1]
  8. ^ Connolly 2005, pp.339–340
  9. ^ "Eithne Fitzgerald". Directory of Members. Oireachtas. Retrieved 20 April 2016. 
  10. ^ Müller, Wolfgang C.; Strom, Kaare (2003). Coalition Governments in Western Europe. Oxford University Press. p. 149. ISBN 9780198297611. Retrieved 20 April 2016.