Government of the 20th Dáil
|Government of the 20th Dáil|
|14th Government of Ireland|
|Date formed||14 March 1973|
|Date dissolved||5 July 1977|
|People and organisations|
|Head of state||Éamon de Valera (1973)
Erskine H. Childers (1973–74)
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh (1974–76)
Patrick Hillery (1976–77)
|Head of government||Liam Cosgrave|
|Deputy head of government||Brendan Corish|
|Total no. of ministers||15|
|Member parties||Fine Gael
|Status in legislature||Coalition|
|Opposition leader||Jack Lynch (Fianna Fáil)|
|Election(s)||1973 general election|
|Legislature term(s)||20th Dáil|
14th Government of IrelandEdit
The 14th Government of Ireland (14 March 1973 – 5 July 1977) – or more commonly the National Coalition – was the name given to the coalition government formed in 1973 by Fine Gael and the Labour Party. The National Coalition was led by Liam Cosgrave, the Fine Gael leader, as Taoiseach, and Brendan Corish, the Labour Party leader, as Tánaiste. It remained in power for four years but was defeated in the 1977 general election, when the opposition Fianna Fáil party won the biggest landslide in Irish electoral history.
The National Coalition is remembered, among other things, for restricting 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. This government was also remembered as a reforming government, for instance removed the requirement that Irish be passed to obtain a Leaving Certificate; also of reforming 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.
The coalition also governed during the term of President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh. President Ó Dálaigh resigned as a result of comments made by the Minister of Defence, Paddy Donegan. The Minister had described the President as a "thundering disgrace" because the President had referred the Emergency Powers Act, 1976 to the Supreme Court. Although the Minister issued a belated apology and privately offered to resign, the Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave refused to remove him from the Cabinet. Ó Dálaigh felt that the refusal to remove the Minister was an affront to his office by the Government and resigned. This controversy damaged the image of the National Coalition severely.