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Minister for Education and Skills

FunctionsEdit

The Minister engages in a wide range of activities relating to education in the Republic of Ireland, including policy planning, quality assurance and the provision of a broad range of services.

The department officially aims to:

  • Promote equity and inclusion
  • Promote lifelong learning
  • Plan for education that is relevant to personal, social, cultural and economic needs.

In recent years some of these functions have been devolved to statutory authorities, in particular the Higher Education Authority, the National Qualifications Authority and the State Examinations Commission. Irish universities and colleges are to a large extent free of government control, with this being largely limited to policy formation and statistics preparation.

HistoryEdit

In 1919, the Gaelic League passed a motion calling for the Dáil to appoint a Minister for Irish, which was read into the record of the Dáil by the Ceann Comhairle.[1] On 29 June 1920, John J. O'Kelly, known in Irish as Seán Ua Ceallaigh, and also by the pen name Sceilg, was appointed as Minister for Irish.[2] The portfolio was created to promote the use of the Irish language throughout the country.

After the Second Dáil met in August 1921, the President Éamon de Valera proposed that this position be altered to that of Minister for Education, saying "It was obvious the Minister in charge should be capable of dealing with the part referring to Irish but he thought the Department should have a wider meaning than at present". This was accepted by the Dáil.[3] The following day, when de Valera proposed his new ministry, O'Kelly was proposed as Minister for Education, continuing in his previous position with an expanded function.[4]

It was given a statutory basis in the Irish Free State as one of the positions in the Executive Council under the Ministers and Secretaries Act 1924. It was renamed as the Minister for Education and Science in 1997 and as the Minister for Education and Skills in 2010.

List of office-holdersEdit

  Denotes acting Minister

Minister for Irish 1920–1921Edit

No. Name Term of office Party
1. John J. O'Kelly 29 June 1920 26 August 1921 Sinn Féin

Minister for Education 1921–1997Edit

No. Name Term of office Party
John J. O'Kelly[5] 26 August 1921 9 January 1922 Sinn Féin
2. Michael Hayes[6] 11 January 1922 9 September 1922 Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)
3. Fionán Lynch[6] 1 April 1922 30 August 1922 Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)
4. Eoin MacNeill 30 August 1922 24 November 1925 Cumann na nGaedheal
5. John M. O'Sullivan 28 January 1926 9 March 1932 Cumann na nGaedheal
6. Thomas Derrig (1st time) 9 March 1932 8 September 1939 Fianna Fáil
7. Seán T. O'Kelly 8 September 1939 27 September 1939 Fianna Fáil
Éamon de Valera (acting) 27 September 1939 18 June 1940 Fianna Fáil
Thomas Derrig (2nd time) 18 June 1940 18 February 1948 Fianna Fáil
9. Richard Mulcahy (1st time) 18 February 1948 13 June 1951 Fine Gael
10. Seán Moylan 13 June 1951 2 June 1954 Fianna Fáil
Richard Mulcahy (2nd time) 2 June 1954 20 March 1957 Fine Gael
11. Jack Lynch (1st time) 20 March 1957 23 June 1959 Fianna Fáil
12. Patrick Hillery 23 June 1959 21 April 1965 Fianna Fáil
13. George Colley 21 April 1965 13 July 1966 Fianna Fáil
14. Donogh O'Malley 13 July 1966 10 March 1968 Fianna Fáil
Jack Lynch (acting) 10 March 1968 26 March 1968 Fianna Fáil
15. Brian Lenihan 26 March 1968 2 July 1969 Fianna Fáil
16. Pádraig Faulkner 2 July 1969 14 March 1973 Fianna Fáil
17. Richard Burke 14 March 1973 2 December 1976 Fine Gael
18. Peter Barry 2 December 1976 5 July 1977 Fine Gael
19. John Wilson 5 July 1977 30 June 1981 Fianna Fáil
20. John Boland 30 June 1981 9 March 1982 Fine Gael
21. Martin O'Donoghue 9 March 1982 6 October 1982 Fianna Fáil
22. Charles Haughey (acting) 7 October 1982 27 October 1982 Fianna Fáil
23. Gerard Brady 27 October 1982 14 December 1982 Fianna Fáil
24. Gemma Hussey 14 December 1982 14 February 1986 Fine Gael
25. Patrick Cooney 14 February 1986 10 March 1987 Fine Gael
26. Mary O'Rourke 10 March 1987 14 November 1991 Fianna Fáil
27. Noel Davern 14 November 1991 11 February 1992 Fianna Fáil
28. Séamus Brennan 11 February 1992 12 January 1993 Fianna Fáil
29. Niamh Bhreathnach (1st time) 12 January 1993 17 November 1994 Labour Party
30. Michael Smith 18 November 1994 15 December 1994 Fianna Fáil
Niamh Bhreathnach (2nd time) 15 December 1994 26 June 1997 Labour Party
31. Micheál Martin 26 June 1997 30 September 1997 Fianna Fáil

Minister for Education and Science 1997–2010Edit

No. Name Term of office Party
Micheál Martin 30 September 1997 27 January 2000 Fianna Fáil
32. Michael Woods 27 January 2000 6 June 2002 Fianna Fáil
33. Noel Dempsey 6 June 2002 29 September 2004 Fianna Fáil
34. Mary Hanafin 29 September 2004 7 May 2008 Fianna Fáil
35. Batt O'Keeffe 7 May 2008 23 March 2010 Fianna Fáil

Minister for Education and Skills 2010–presentEdit

No. Name Term of office Party
36. Mary Coughlan 23 March 2010 9 March 2011 Fianna Fáil
37. Ruairi Quinn 9 March 2011 11 July 2014 Labour Party
38. Jan O'Sullivan 11 July 2014 6 May 2016 Labour Party
39. Richard Bruton 6 May 2016 16 October 2018 Fine Gael
40. Joe McHugh 16 October 2018 Incumbent Fine Gael

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Monday, 27 October 1919: THE IRISH LANGUAGE". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  2. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Tuesday, 29 June 1920: RATIFICATION OF MINISTERS". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  3. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Thursday, 25 August 1921: ALTERATION OF MINISTRY OF IRISH TO MINISTRY OF EDUCATION". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Dáil Éireann debate - Friday, 26 August 1921: THE NEW MINISTRY". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 6 September 2019.
  5. ^ John J. O'Kelly held the title of Secretary for Education.
  6. ^ a b The terms of office of Michael Hayes and Fionán Lynch overlap. Hayes was a member of the Ministry of Dáil Éireann, while Fionán Lynch was a minister of the Provisional Government. For a period in 1922, these two administrations overlapped.

External linksEdit