Tánaiste

Last updated

Tánaiste
Irish Government Logo.png
Simon Coveney 2018.jpg
Incumbent
Simon Coveney

since 30 November 2017
Style Tánaiste
Irish: A Thánaiste
Member of
Reports to Taoiseach
Seat Dublin, Ireland
Nominator Taoiseach
Appointer President of Ireland
Inaugural holder Seán T. O'Kelly [1]
Formation29 December 1937 [1]
Salary€183,746 [2]

The Tánaiste (Irish pronunciation:  [ˈt̪ˠaːn̪ˠəʃtʲə] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )) is the deputy head of the government of Ireland and thus holder of its second-most senior office. [3] [4] The Tánaiste is appointed by the President of Ireland on the advice of the Taoiseach. The current office holder is Simon Coveney, TD, who was appointed on 30 November 2017. [5]

Government of Ireland Ministerial cabinet exercising executive authority in the country of Ireland

The Government of Ireland is the cabinet that exercises executive authority in Ireland.

President of Ireland position

The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland and the Supreme Commander of the Irish Defence Forces.

Taoiseach Head of government (Prime Minister) of Ireland

The Taoiseach is the prime minister and head of government of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas (parliament), and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.

Contents

Origins

Tánaiste 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'.

Irish language Gaelic language spoken in Ireland and by Irish people

Irish is a Goidelic language of the Celtic and Indo-European language family, originating in Ireland and historically spoken by the Irish people. Irish is spoken as a first language in substantial areas of counties Galway, Kerry, Cork and Donegal, smaller areas of Waterford, Mayo and Meath, and a few other locations, and as a second language by a larger group of non-habitual speakers across the country. A speaker of the Irish language is known as a Gaeilgeoir.

, or commonly ríg (genitive), is an ancient Gaelic word meaning "king". It is used in historical texts referring to the Irish and Scottish kings, and those of similar rank. While the Modern Irish word is exactly the same, in modern Scottish Gaelic it is rìgh, apparently derived from the genitive. Cognates include Gaulish Rix, Latin rex/regis, Sanskrit raja, and German Reich.

The Gaels are an ethnolinguistic group native to northwestern Europe. They are associated with the Gaelic languages: a branch of the Celtic languages comprising Irish, Manx and Scottish Gaelic. Historically, the ethnonyms Irish and Scots referred to the Gaels in general, but the scope of those nationalities is today more complex.

Modern office

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.

Constitution of Ireland National democratic constitution

The Constitution of Ireland is the fundamental law of the Republic of Ireland. It asserts the national sovereignty of the Irish people. The constitution falls broadly within the tradition of liberal democracy, being based on a system of representative democracy. It guarantees certain fundamental rights, along with a popularly elected non-executive president, a bicameral parliament based on the Westminster system, a separation of powers and judicial review.

Vice-President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State

The Vice-President of the Executive Council was the deputy prime minister of the 1922–1937 Irish Free State, and the second most senior member of the Executive Council (cabinet). Formally the Vice-President was appointed by the Governor-General on the "nomination" of the President of the Executive Council, but by convention the Governor-General could not refuse to appoint a Vice-President who the President had selected.

Constitution of the Irish Free State

The Constitution of the Irish Free State was adopted by Act of Dáil Éireann sitting as a constituent assembly on 25 October 1922. In accordance with Article 83 of the Constitution, the Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922 of the British Parliament, which came into effect upon receiving the royal assent on 5 December 1922, provided that the Constitution would come into effect upon the issue of a Royal Proclamation, which was done on 6 December 1922. In 1937 the Constitution of the Irish Free State was replaced by the modern Constitution of Ireland following a referendum.

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 their seal of office from the President of Ireland in recognition of their 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 their 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 absence of the Taoiseach and may take questions on their behalf in the Dáil or Seanad.

Dáil Éireann Lower house of the Oireachtas (Irish parliament)

Dáil Éireann is the lower house, and principal chamber, of the Oireachtas, which also includes the President of Ireland and Seanad Éireann. It currently consists of 158 members, known as Teachta Dála. TDs represent 40 constituencies, and are directly elected at least once every five years under the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote (STV). Its powers are similar to those of lower houses under many other bicameral parliamentary systems and it is by far the dominant branch of the Oireachtas. Subject to the limits imposed by the Constitution of Ireland, it has power to pass any law it wishes, and to nominate and remove the Taoiseach. Since 1922, it has met in Leinster House in Dublin.

The Council of State is a body established by the Constitution of Ireland to advise the President of Ireland in the exercise of many of his or her discretionary, reserve powers. It also has authority to provide for the temporary exercise of the duties of the president in the event that these cannot be exercised by either the president or the Presidential Commission.

Seanad Éireann upper house of the Irish Oireachtas

Seanad Éireann is the upper house of the Oireachtas, which also comprises the President of Ireland and Dáil Éireann.

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 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]

The Department of the Taoiseach is the government department of the Taoiseach of Ireland. It is based in Government Buildings, the headquarters of the Government of Ireland, on Merrion Street in Dublin.

A minister without portfolio is either a government minister with no specific responsibilities or a minister who does not head a particular ministry. The sinecure is particularly common in countries ruled by coalition governments and a cabinet with decision-making authority wherein a minister without portfolio, while he or she may not head any particular office or ministry, still receives a ministerial salary and has the right to cast a vote in cabinet decisions. In some countries where the executive branch is not composed of a coalition of parties and, more often, in countries with purely presidential systems of government, such as the United States, the position of minister without portfolio is uncommon.

A Department of State of Ireland is a department or ministry of the Government of Ireland. The head of such a department is called a Minister of the Government; prior to 1977 such ministers were called Ministers of State, a term now used for junior (non-cabinet) ministers. Most members of the government are Ministers of the Government, though there may occasionally be a minister without portfolio. The law regarding the departments of state and ministers of the government is based in the Constitution of Ireland, primarily in Article 28, with legislative detail in the Ministers and Secretaries Acts 1924 to 2017.

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.

A coalition government in a parliamentary system is a government in which multiple political parties cooperate, reducing the dominance of any one party within that "coalition". The usual reason for this arrangement is that no party on its own can achieve a majority in the parliament. A coalition government might also be created in a time of national difficulty or crisis to give a government the high degree of perceived political legitimacy or collective identity it desires while also playing a role in diminishing internal political strife. In such times, parties have formed all-party coalitions. If a coalition collapses, a confidence vote is held or a motion of no confidence is taken.

The 26th Dáil of Ireland was elected at the 1989 general election on 15 June 1989 and eventually re-elected Charles Haughey on 12 July when the 21st Government of Ireland was appointed. The 26th Dáil lasted 1,259 days.

The 30th Dáil was elected at the 2007 general election on 24 May 2007 and first met on 14 June when President Mary McAleese appointed Bertie Ahern as Taoiseach, on the nomination of Dáil Éireann. On the nomination of the Taoiseach, and following the Dáil's approval the 27th Government of Ireland was appointed.

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

Vice-President of the Executive Council

No.PortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Constituency
Term of officePartyExec. 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.jpg 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

No.PortraitName
(Birth–Death)
Constituency
Term of officePartyGovernment
(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 Sean Lemass at Schiphol Airport (cropped).jpg 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 Party 5
(Costello)
Social Welfare (1948–51)
(4) Sean Lemass at Schiphol Airport (cropped).jpg 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 Party 7
(Costello)
Industry and Commerce (1954–57)
(4) Sean Lemass at Schiphol Airport (cropped).jpg 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 Party 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 Party 17
(FitzGerald)
Energy (1981–82)
12 Ray MacSharry
(born 1938)
TD for Sligo–Leitrim
9 March
1982
14 December
1982
Fianna Fáil 18
(Haughey)
Finance (1982)
13 Irish Tanaiste Dick Spring at the White House, 16 Nov 1993.jpg Dick Spring
(born 1950)
TD for Kerry North
14 December
1982
20 January
1987
Labour Party 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)
Marine (1990–92)
22
(Reynolds)
Defence and Gaeltacht (1992–93)
(13) Irish Tanaiste Dick Spring at the White House, 16 Nov 1993.jpg Dick Spring
(born 1950)
TD for Kerry North
12 January
1993
17 November
1994
Labour Party 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) Irish Tanaiste Dick Spring at the White House, 16 Nov 1993.jpg Dick Spring
(born 1950)
TD for Kerry North
15 December
1994
26 June
1997
Labour Party 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 McDowell says NO! (9826113044) (cropped).jpg 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 Party 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 Party Social Protection (2014–2016)
24 Frances Fitzgerald 2014.png Frances Fitzgerald
(born 1950)
TD for Dublin Mid-West
6 May
2016
28 November
2017
Fine Gael 30
(Kenny)
Justice and Equality (2014–17)
31
(Varadkar)
Business, Enterprise and Innovation (2017)
25 Simon Coveney, Minister of Defence (cropped).jpg Simon Coveney
(born 1972)
TD for Cork South Central
30 November
2017
Incumbent Fine Gael Foreign Affairs and Trade (2017–)

See also

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References

Sources

Citations

  1. 1 2 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. "TDs and Senators salaries". Houses of the Oireachtas. 1 January 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  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. "Taoiseach names Coveney as new Tánaiste". RTÉ.ie . 30 November 2017. Retrieved 30 November 2017.
  6. Article 28.7.1° of the Constitution of Ireland.
  7. Article 28.6.2° and 28.6.3° of the Constitution of Ireland.
  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.