The 24th
Government of Ireland The Government of Ireland ( ga, Rialtas na hÉireann) is the cabinet (government), cabinet that exercises executive (government), executive authority in Republic of Ireland, Ireland. The Constitution of Ireland vests executive authority in a gove ...
(15 December 1994 – 26 June 1997) was the 2nd Government of the
27th Dáil 7 (seven) is the natural number following 6 and preceding 8. It is the only prime number preceding a cube (algebra), cube, and is often considered lucky in Western culture, and is often seen as Symbolism of the Number 7, highly symbolic. It is ...
. Known as the Rainbow Coalition, it was a
coalition The term "coalition" is the denotation for a group formed when two or more people, factions, states, political parties, militaries etc. agree to work together temporarily in a partnership to achieve a common goal. The word coalition connotes a co ...
Fine Gael Fine Gael (, ; English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the ...
, the
Labour Party Labour Party or Labor Party may refer to: Angola *MPLA, known for some years as "Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola – Labour Party" Antigua and Barbuda *Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party Argentina *Labour Party (Argentina) Armenia ...
and Democratic Left. The Labour Party had been part of the 23rd Government with
Fianna Fáil Fianna Fáil (, ; meaning 'Soldiers of Destiny' or 'Warriors of Inis Fáil, Fál'), officially Fianna Fáil – The Republican Party ( ga, audio=ga-Fianna Fáil.ogg, Fianna Fáil – An Páirtí Poblachtánach), is a Conservatism, co ...
, formed after the 1992 general election, but left in November 1994 following a number of scandals, particularly those which emerged from the
Beef Tribunal The Tribunal of Inquiry into the Beef Processing Industry, also known as the Beef Tribunal, was established on 31 May 1991, chaired by Mr. Justice Liam Hamilton. It was set up to inquire into malpractice in the Irish beef processing industry, ma ...
and the alleged mishandling of the prosecution of paedophile priest
Brendan Smyth Brendan Smyth Premonstratensians, O.Praem (8 June 1927 – 22 August 1997) was a Catholic Church, Catholic priest from Belfast, Northern Ireland, who became notorious as a child sexual abuse, child molester, using his position in the Catholic C ...
. After
Albert Reynolds Albert Reynolds (3 November 1932 – 21 August 2014) was an Irish Fianna Fáil politician who served as Taoiseach from 1992 to 1994, Leader of Fianna Fáil from 1992 to 1994, Minister for Finance (Ireland), Minister for Finance from 1988 to 199 ...
was replaced as Fianna Fáil leader by Bertie Ahern, there was speculation that Labour would rejoin Fianna Fáil in government, but instead it formed a government with two parties which had been in opposition. List of Dáil by-elections, By-election gains since 1992 meant the three parties had enough TDs between them for an overall majority. It is the only time to date that a new government was formed within the same Dáil term composed of different parties. The 24th Government lasted 924 days.

Nomination of Taoiseach

In the Dáil vote for Taoiseach, Dáil debate on the nomination for Taoiseach, Fianna Fáil leader Bertie Ahern and Fine Gael leader John Bruton were proposed. Ahern was defeated by 67 votes to 94, while Bruton was approved. Bruton was then appointed as Taoiseach by President of Ireland, President Mary Robinson.

Members of the Government

After his appointment as Taoiseach by the president, John Bruton proposed the members of the government and they were approved by the Dáil. They were appointed by the president on the same day.

Attorney General

Dermot Gleeson senior counsel, SC was appointed by the president as Attorney General of Ireland, Attorney General on the nomination of the Taoiseach.

Ministers of State

On 15 December 1994, Seán Barrett (politician), Seán Barrett, Teachta Dála, TD to the post of Minister for State at the Department of the Taoiseach with special responsibility as Government Chief Whip. Also on the same day Pat Rabbitte, TD was appointed to the position of Minister of State to the Government. This was the first time a Minister of State other than the Chief Whip attended cabinet. On 20 December 1994, the Government appointed the other Minister of State (Ireland), Ministers of State on the nomination of the Taoiseach.

Constitutional referendums

The Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, Fifteenth Amendment was proposed by Minister for Labour (Ireland), Minister for Equality and Law Reform Mervyn Taylor and approved in a referendum on 24 November 1995. It removed the prohibition on divorce, replacing it terms allowing a court to dissolve a marriage, including a requirement to have been separated for four of the previous five years. It was followed by Family Law (Divorce) Act 1996. The Sixteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland, Sixteenth Amendment was proposed by Minister for Justice (Ireland), Minister for Justice Nora Owen and approved in a referendum on 28 November 1996. It allowed a court to refuse bail to someone convicted of a serious offence when reasonably considered necessary to prevent the commission of a serious offence by that person. It was followed by the Bail Act 1997.


On 15 May 1997, the president dissolved the Dáil on the advice of the Taoiseach, and a 1997 Irish general election, general election was held on 6 June. When the members of the 28th Dáil met on 26 June, Bertie Ahern was nominated and appointed as Taoiseach and formed a Government of the 28th Dáil, Fianna Fáil–Progressive Democrats coalition government.


{{DEFAULTSORT:Government of the 27th Dail, 2nd 1994 establishments in Ireland 1997 disestablishments in Ireland 27th Dáil Cabinets established in 1994 Cabinets disestablished in 1997 Coalition governments of Ireland Governments of Ireland