Minister for Labour (Ireland)
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The Minister for Labour () was originally a position in the Government of the
Irish Republic The Irish Republic ( ga, Poblacht na hÉireann or ) was an unrecognised revolutionary state that declared its independence from the United Kingdom The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the Unite ...

Irish Republic
, the
self-declared Self-proclaimed describes a legal title that is recognized by the declaring person but not necessarily by any recognized legal authority. It can be the status of a noble title or the status of a nation. The term is used informally for anyone declari ...
state which was established in 1919 by
Dáil Éireann Dáil Éireann ( , ; ) is the lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorporated community i ...
, the parliamentary assembly made up of the majority of Irish
MPs A member of parliament (MP) is the representative of the people who live in their constituency An electoral district, also known as an election district, legislative district, voting district, constituency, riding, ward, division, (election) ...
elected in the 1918 general election.
Constance Markievicz Constance Georgine Markievicz ( pl, Markiewicz ; ' Gore-Booth; 4 February 1868 – 15 July 1927), also known as Countess Markievicz and Madame Markievicz, was an Irish politician A politician is a person active in party politics A pol ...
was the first person to hold the post. The office did not continue into the
Executive Council of the Irish Free State The Executive Council ( ga, Ard-Chomhairle) was the cabinet Cabinet or The Cabinet may refer to: Furniture * Cabinetry, a box-shaped piece of furniture with doors and/or drawers * Display cabinet, a piece of furniture with one or more transpa ...
. The later office of Minister for Labour was created by the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 1966 as a member of the
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 ...
. 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 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 ...
(1993–94) and the Fine Gael–Labour–Democratic Left coalition (1994–97) led by
John Bruton John Gerard Bruton (born 18 May 1947) is an Irish former Fine Gael politician who served as Taoiseach from 1994 to 1997, Delegation of the European Union to the United States, Ambassador of the European Union to the United States from 2004 to 2 ...

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 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 ...
TD
Mervyn Taylor Mervyn Taylor (28 December 1931 – 23 September 2021) was an Irish Labour Party (Ireland), Labour Party politician who served as Minister for Labour (Ireland), Minister for Equality and Law Reform from 1993 to 1994 and from 1994 to 1997. He se ...
, 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 formerly exercised by the Minister for Labour are now exercised by the
Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment The Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment ( ga, An tAire Fiontar, Trádála agus Fostaíochta) is the senior minister (government), minister at the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment in the Government of Ireland. The current ...
. The functions formerly exercised by the Minister for Equality and Law Reform are now exercised by the
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth The Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth ( ga, An tAire Leanaí, Comhionannais, Míchumais, Lánpháirtíochta agus Óige) is the senior minister (government), minister at the Department of Children, Equality, Disab ...
and the
Minister for Justice A justice ministry, ministry of justice, or department of justice is a ministry or other government agency A government or state agency, sometimes an appointed commission, is a permanent or semi-permanent organization in the machinery of governme ...
.


History


Alteration of name and transfer of functions


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 The Interpretation (Amendment) Act 1993 was an Interpretation Act passed by the Oireachtas in order to promote Gender inclusive, gender-inclusive language. It supplemented the Interpretation Act 1978, Interpretation Act 1937 by providing that ( ...
- 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 (Ireland), 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

;Notes


Minister of State at the Department of Labour 1978–1993

Under the Ministers and Secretaries Acts, Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 1977, the government may appoint a member of the Oireachtas to act as a Minister of State (Ireland), Minister of State in a department. The Minister of State did not hold cabinet rank.


References

{{Ministers of State of Ireland Lists of defunct government ministers of Ireland, Labour