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The 20th Dáil was elected at the 1973 general election on 28 February 1973 and first met on 14 March when the 14th Government of Ireland was appointed. The 20th Dáil lasted for 1,569 days.

Government of the 20th Dáil
14th Government of Ireland
Date formed14 March 1973
Date dissolved5 July 1977
People and organisations
Head of stateÉamon de Valera (1973)
Erskine H. Childers (1973–74)
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh (1974–76)
Patrick Hillery (1976–77)
Head of governmentLiam Cosgrave
Deputy head of governmentBrendan Corish
Total no. of ministers15
Member partiesFine Gael
Labour Party
Status in legislatureCoalition
Opposition leaderJack Lynch (Fianna Fáil)
History
Election(s)1973 general election
Legislature term(s)20th Dáil
Predecessor13th Government
Successor15th Government

14th Government of IrelandEdit

The 14th Government of Ireland (14 March 1973 – 5 July 1977) was formed by as a coalition government between Fine Gael and the Labour Party, known as the National Coalition, and ended sixteen years of government by three successive Fianna Fáil Taoisigh. 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.

Cosgrave was nominated as Taoiseach and appointed as president on 14 March.[1] On the same day, the Ministers of the Government were approved by the Dáil and then also appointed by the president.[2]

Office Name Term Party
Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave 1973–77 Fine Gael
Tánaiste Brendan Corish 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Health
Minister for Social Welfare
Minister for Agriculture Mark Clinton 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Defence Paddy Donegan 1973–76 Fine Gael
Minister for Education Richard Burke 1973–76 Fine Gael
Minister for Finance Richie Ryan 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Foreign Affairs Garret FitzGerald 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for the Gaeltacht Tom O'Donnell 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Industry and Commerce Justin Keating 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Justice Patrick Cooney 1973–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Labour Michael O'Leary 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Lands Tom Fitzpatrick 1973–76 Fine Gael
Minister for Local Government James Tully 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Posts and Telegraphs Conor Cruise O'Brien 1973–77 Labour Party
Minister for Transport and Power Peter Barry 1973–76 Fine Gael

Changes 1 November 1973Edit

Assignment of new department to Minister for Finance Richie Ryan.[3]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for the Public Service Richie Ryan 1973–77 Fine Gael

Changes 2 December 1976Edit

On the nomination of Richard Burke as European Commissioner.[4]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for Education Peter Barry 1976–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Transport and Power Tom Fitzpatrick 1976–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Lands Paddy Donegan 1976–77 Fine Gael
Minister for Defence Liam Cosgrave (acting) Fine Gael

Changes 16 December 1976Edit

Re-assignment of the Department of Defence.[5]

Office Name Term Party
Minister for Defence Oliver J. Flanagan 1976–77 Fine Gael

Actions of the government in officeEdit

The National Coalition restricted 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. It removed the requirement that Irish be passed to obtain a Leaving Certificate; it also reformed 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 term of President Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh was within this government. 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 Bill 1976 to the Supreme Court. Although the Minister issued a belated apology and privately offered to resign, the Taoiseach, Liam Cosgrave refused to accept his resignation. 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.

See alsoEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Wednesday, 14 March 1973: Nomination of Taoiseach". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Wednesday, 14 March 1973: Appointment of Taoiseach and Nomination of Members of Government". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  3. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Thursday, 1 November 1973: Department of the Public Service: Statement by the Taoiseach". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  4. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Thursday, 2 December 1976: Ministerial Appointments: Statement by the Taoiseach". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 19 August 2019.
  5. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Wednesday, 15 December 1976: Nomination of Member of Government: Motion". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 19 August 2019.; "Dáil Éireann debate - Wednesday, 15 December 1976: Nomination of Member of Government: Motion (Resumed)". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 19 August 2019.