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Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Minister for Foreign Affairs is the senior minister at the Department of Foreign Affairs (An Roinn Gnóthaí Eachtracha) in the Irish Government. Its headquarters are at Iveagh House, Dublin.

The current Minister for Foreign Affairs is Dermot Ahern, TD. He is assisted by:

The Minister is one of the most important members of the Irish cabinet, with responsibility for the relations between the Republic of Ireland and foreign states. From 1922 until 1971 the title of the office was "Minister for External Affairs".

Table of contents

Overview

Within the department there are a number of divisions:

  • Anglo-Irish Division – deals with Anglo-Irish relations and Northern Ireland.
  • Cultural Division – administers the state's Cultural Relations Programme.
  • European Union Division – coordinates the state's approach within the European Union (EU).
  • Passport and Consular Division – is responsible for the issuing of passports to Irish citizens.
  • Political Division – is responsible for international political issues and manages the state's participation in the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy.
  • Protocol Division – is responsible for the organisation and management of visits of VIPs to the state and of visits abroad by the Irish President.

List of office-holders

Ministers for Foreign Affairs (1919–1922)

# Name Took Office Left Office Party
1.Count Plunkett January 22, 1919 August 26, 1921 Sinn Féin
2.Arthur Griffith1 (1st time) August 22, 1921 January 9, 1922 Sinn Féin
3.George Gavan Duffy January 10, 1922 July 25, 1922 Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin
Arthur Griffith (2nd time) July 26, 1922 August 12, 1922 Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin
4.Michael Hayes August 21, 1922 September 9, 1922 Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin


Ministers for External Affairs (1922–1971)

# Name Took Office Left Office Party
5.Desmond FitzGerald August 30, 1922 June 23, 1927 Cumann na nGaedhael
6.Kevin O'Higgins June 23, 1927 July 10, 1927 Cumann na nGaedhael
7.W.T. Cosgrave (acting) July 10, 1927 October 11, 1927 Cumann na nGaedhael
8.Patrick McGilligan October 11, 1927 March 9, 1932 Cumann na nGaedhael
9.Eamon de Valera2 March 9, 1932 February 18, 1948 Fianna Fáil
10.Seán MacBride February 18, 1948 June 13, 1951 Clann na Poblachta
11.Frank Aiken (1st time) June 13, 1951 June 2, 1954 Fianna Fáil
10.Liam Cosgrave June 2, 1954 March 20, 1957 Fine Gael
Frank Aiken (2nd time) March 20, 1957 July 2, 1969 Fianna Fáil
12.Patrick Hillery July 2, 1969 March 3, 1971 Fianna Fáil


Ministers for Foreign Affairs (1971-present)

# Name Took Office Left Office Party
Patrick Hillery March 3, 1971 January 3, 1973 Fianna Fáil
13.Brian Lenihan (1st time) January 3, 1973 March 14, 1973 Fianna Fáil
14.Garret FitzGerald March 14, 1973 July 5, 1977 Fine Gael
15.Michael O'Kennedy July 5, 1977 December 11, 1979 Fianna Fáil
Brian Lenihan (2nd time) December 12, 1979 June 30, 1981 Fianna Fáil
16.John Kelly3 June 30, 1981 October 21, 1981 Fine Gael
17.James Dooge October 21, 1981 March 9, 1982 Fine Gael
18.Gerard Collins (1st time) March 9, 1982 December 14, 1982 Fianna Fáil
19.Peter Barry4 December 14, 1982 March 10, 1987 Fine Gael
Brian Lenihan (3rd time) March 10, 1987 July 12, 1989 Fianna Fáil
Gerard Collins (2nd time) July 12, 1989 February 11, 1992 Fianna Fáil
20.David Andrews (1st time) February 11, 1992 January 12, 1993 Fianna Fáil
21.Dick Spring (1st time) January 12, 1993 November 17, 1994 Labour
22.Albert Reynolds (acting) November 18, 1994 December 15, 1994 Fianna Fáil
.Dick Spring (2nd time) December 15, 1994 June 26, 1997 Labour
23.Ray Burke June 26, 1997 October 7, 1997 Fianna Fáil
David Andrews (2nd time) October 8, 1997 January 27, 2000 Fianna Fáil
24.Brian Cowen January 27, 2000 September 29, 2004 Fianna Fáil
25.Dermot Ahern September 29, 2004 (Current Incumbent) Fianna Fáil


Footnotes

  1. On the first occasion he held the foreign affairs portfolio, Arthur Griffith's official title was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  2. Eamon de Valera, who was head of government (President of the Executive Council until 1937, renamed Taoiseach in 1937) served as his own foreign minister.
  3. When Garret FitzGerald formed a government in mid 1981 he announced that he would be appointing James Dooge to be a senator and once in office would make him minister. However as the appointment could not be made until Seanad Éireann's general election had taken place (which would be a few weeks), in the interim the Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism, John M. Kelly, would act as minister.
  4. When Labour withdrew from cabinet in early 1987, a new interim cabinet, made up simply of the outgoing Fine Gael ministers, was formed. Peter Barry continued on as Foreign Minister in that shortlived Fine Gael cabinet.

See also

External link


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