Minister of State (Ireland)
A Minister of State in Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

 (also called a 'junior minister') is of non-Cabinet rank
Cabinet rank
A person who is of Cabinet rank holds a ministerial position in a government. They sit in Cabinet and form the highest body of leadership in a government.-United Kingdom:...

, attached to one or more Departments of State
Department of State (Ireland)
A Department of State of Ireland, is a department or ministry of the Government of Ireland. The head of such a department is a Minister of the Government , often called a 'cabinet minister' or 'government minister' which should not be confused with Minister of State which is a junior non-cabinet...

of the Government of Ireland.

Unlike other 'cabinet ministers' or 'government ministers' who are appointed by the President of Ireland
President of Ireland
The President of Ireland is the head of state of Ireland. The President is usually directly elected by the people for seven years, and can be elected for a maximum of two terms. The presidency is largely a ceremonial office, but the President does exercise certain limited powers with absolute...

 on the advice
Advice (constitutional)
Advice, in constitutional law, is formal, usually binding, instruction given by one constitutional officer of state to another. Especially in parliamentary systems of government, Heads of state often act on the basis of advice issued by prime ministers or other government ministers...

 of the Taoiseach
The Taoiseach is the head of government or prime minister of Ireland. The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas , and must, in order to remain in office, retain the support of a majority in the Dáil.The current Taoiseach is...

, with the prior nomination of Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann
Dáil Éireann is the lower house, but principal chamber, of the Oireachtas , which also includes the President of Ireland and Seanad Éireann . It is directly elected at least once in every five years under the system of proportional representation by means of the single transferable vote...

, Ministers of State are appointed by the cabinet, on nomination of the Taoiseach. The title Minister of State is dissimilar and its role is less than that of a Secretary of State
Secretary of State
Secretary of State or State Secretary is a commonly used title for a senior or mid-level post in governments around the world. The role varies between countries, and in some cases there are multiple Secretaries of State in the Government....

 in the Government of the United Kingdom.

The post of Minister of State was created by the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) (No. 2) Act, 1977 and commenced in 1978, and under the Act a Minister of State may be delegated a power or duty of the Minister of the Government they support. The position was created to replace the post of Parliamentary Secretary
Parliamentary Secretary
A Parliamentary Secretary is a member of a Parliament in the Westminster system who assists a more senior minister with his or her duties.In the parliamentary systems of several Commonwealth countries, such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia, it is customary for the prime minister to...

, the junior rank of ministers which had existed from 1924 until 1978. In the original act of 1977 the number of Ministers of State was limited to 10, but in 1980 this was raised to 15, and in 1995 it was raised to 17, and in 2007 it was raised to 20. Brian Cowen
Brian Cowen
Brian Cowen is a former Irish politician who served as Taoiseach of Ireland from 7 May 2008 to 9 March 2011. He was head of a coalition government led by Fianna Fáil which until 23 January 2011 had the support of the Green Party and independent TDs.Cowen was also leader of Fianna Fáil from 7 May...

 asked all 20 Ministers of State to resign on 21 April 2009. He re-appointed a reduced number of 15 ministers the following day, when the Dáil resumed after the Easter recess.

See also

  • Ministers of State of the 31st Dáil
    Ministers of State of the 31st Dáil
    This is a list of Ministers of State of the 31st Dáil. On 9 March 2011, the 29th Government of Ireland was nominated by Dáil Éireann on the advice of the Taoiseach, and then appointed by the President...

  • Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach
    Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach
    The Minister of State at the Department of the Taoiseach, officially styled as the Minister of State at the Departments of the Taoiseach and Defence with special responsibility as Government Chief Whip, is the Chief Whip of the Government of Ireland and is the most senior Minister of State...

  • Minister of State at the Department of Defence
  • Minister of State at the Department of Finance
  • Minister of State for Disability, Equality and Mental Health
  • Minister of State for European Affairs
  • Minister of State for Food, Horticulture and Food Safety
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