Minister for Labour (Ireland)
The Minister for Labour (Irish: Aire Oibreachais) was originally a position in the Government of the Irish Republic, the self-declared state which was established in 1919 by Dáil Éireann, the parliamentary assembly made up of the majority of Irish MPs elected in the 1918 general election. Constance Markievicz was the first person to hold the post. The office did not continue into the Executive Council of the Irish Free State.
|Roinn Comhionannais agus Athchóirithe Dlí|
|Formed||12 July 1966|
|Dissolved||8 July 1997|
In 1993, the minister's functions were transferred to the Minister for Enterprise and Employment and was succeeded by the Minister for Equality and Law Reform, a position which existed during the Fianna Fáil–Labour coalition led by Albert Reynolds (1993–94) and the Fine Gael–Labour–Democratic Left coalition (1994–97) led by John Bruton. Its primary functions were in the area of civil and family law reform (including divorce legislation) and equality legislation. Under both governments, the Minister for Equality and Law Reform was Labour Party TD Mervyn Taylor, although Máire Geoghegan-Quinn served as Minister between November and December 1994, after Labour had left the coalition with Fianna Fáil.
In 1997, the minister's functions were transferred to the Minister for Justice, Equality and Law Reform. The Department of Equality and Law Reform ceased to exist but was not formally abolished. The functions originally exercised by the Minister for Labour are now exercised by the Minister for Employment Affairs and Social Protection.
Alteration of name and transfer of functions
|13 July 1966||Establishment of the Department of Labour.|
|13 July 1966||Transfer of Labour from the Department of Industry and Commerce.|
|3 October 1966||Transfer of Labour from the Department of Social Welfare.|
|20 January 1993||Transfer of Labour to the Department of Industry and Commerce.|
|21 January 1993||Renamed as the Department of Equality and Law Reform.|
|3 February 1993||Transfer of Civil law reform, civil legal aid and the family mediation service from the Department of Justice.|
|8 July 1997||Transfer of Equality and Law Reform to the Department of Justice.|
Legislation introduced by the Department of Equality and Law Reform
The following legislation was introduced by the Department:
- Matrimonial Home Bill 1993 (struck down by the Supreme Court)
- Interpretation (Amendment) Act 1993 - providing for gender inclusive language in Acts of the Oireachtas
- Jurisdiction of Courts and Enforcement of Judgments Act 1993 - providing for international enforcement of civil judgments
- Maintenance Act 1994 - EC enforcement of maintenance orders
- Maternity Protection Act 1994 - implemented EC law on maternity leave
- Stillbirths Registration Act 1994 - provided for registration of stillborn children for the first time in Irish law
- Adoptive Leave Act 1995 - extended maternity leave-type rights to adoptive parents
- Civil Legal Aid Act 1995 - put civil legal aid scheme on statutory basis
- Family Law Act 1995 - reformed law relating to judicial separation
- Occupiers Liability Act 1995 - provided for reduced liability to trespassers and recreational users
- Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland 1995 - provided for divorce in the Constitution
- Civil Liability (Amendment) Act 1996 - provided for increased damages for fatal injuries cases
- Domestic Violence Act 1996 - extended remedies in domestic violence cases
- Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996 - introduced divorce on a statutory basis
- Powers of Attorney Act 1996 - provided for enduring powers of attorney
- Registration of Births Act 1996 - provided for gender neutral birth certificates
- Family Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1997 - miscellaneous amendments.
The following legislation had originally been drafted by the Department but later enacted under the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform:
- Children Act 1997 - extending family law entitlements of natural fathers and grandparents and other amendments
- Employment Equality Act 1998
- Equal Status Act 2000.
List of office-holders
Minister for Labour 1919–1922
|No.||Name||Term of office||Party|
|1.||Constance Markievicz||2 April 1919||9 January 1922||Sinn Féin|
|2.||Joseph McGrath||11 January 1922||9 September 1922||Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)|
|3.||Patrick Hogan (acting)||17 July 1922||9 September 1922||Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)|
Minister for Labour 1966–1993
|No.||Name||Term of office||Party|
|1.||Patrick Hillery||13 July 1966||2 July 1969||Fianna Fáil|
|2.||Joseph Brennan||2 July 1969||14 March 1973||Fianna Fáil|
|3.||Michael O'Leary||14 March 1973||5 July 1977||Labour Party|
|4.||Gene Fitzgerald (1st time)||5 July 1977||16 December 1980||Fianna Fáil|
|5.||Tom Nolan||16 December 1980||30 June 1981||Fianna Fáil|
|6.||Liam Kavanagh (1st time)||30 June 1981||9 March 1982||Labour Party|
|Gene Fitzgerald (2nd time)||9 March 1982||14 December 1982||Fianna Fáil|
|Liam Kavanagh (2nd time)||14 December 1982||13 December 1983||Labour Party|
|7.||Ruairi Quinn||13 December 1983||20 January 1987||Labour Party|
|8.||Gemma Hussey||20 January 1987||10 March 1987||Fine Gael|
|9.||Bertie Ahern||10 March 1987||14 November 1991||Fianna Fáil|
|10.||Michael O'Kennedy||14 November 1991||11 February 1992||Fianna Fáil|
|11.||Brian Cowen||11 February 1992||12 January 1993||Fianna Fáil|
|12.||Mervyn Taylor||12 January 1993||21 January 1993||Labour Party|
Minister for Equality and Law Reform 1993–1997
|No.||Name||Term of office||Party|
|1.||Mervyn Taylor (1st time)||21 January 1993||17 November 1994||Labour Party|
|2.||Máire Geoghegan-Quinn||18 November 1994||15 December 1994||Fianna Fáil|
|Mervyn Taylor (2nd time)||15 December 1994||26 June 1997||Labour Party|
|3.||John O'Donoghue||26 June 1997||8 July 1997||Fianna Fáil|
- "THE NEW MINISTRY. – Dáil Éireann (2nd Dáil) – Friday, 26 August 1921". Houses of the Oireachtas.
- "Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 1966". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 1966 (Appointed Day) Order 1966". Irish Statute Book. 12 July 1966. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Labour (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1966". Irish Statute Book. 12 July 1966. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Labour (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) (No. 2) Order 1966". Irish Statute Book. 20 September 1966. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Labour (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1993". Irish Statute Book. 20 January 1993. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Labour (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 1993". Irish Statute Book. 20 January 1993. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Justice (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order, 1993". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
- "Equality and Law Reform (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 1997". Irish Statute Book. 8 July 1997. Retrieved 20 September 2019.