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definition - List of Irish Finance Ministers

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Minister for Finance (Ireland)

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The Minister for Finance (Irish: Aire Airgeadais) is the title held by the Irish government minister responsible for all financial and monetary matters. The office-holder controls the Department of Finance and is considered one of the most important members of the Government of Ireland.

The current Minister for Finance is Brian Lenihan, TD. He is assisted by Martin Mansergh, TD, the Minister of State with special responsibility for the Office of Public Works.

The department and minister are occasionally called the Irish Exchequer (or simply Exchequer, or in Irish Státchiste); a term previously used under the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Ireland.



Government Buildings, Dublin, is the location of the Department of Finance

The Minister for Finance holds the second most important ministerial position in the Irish Cabinet after that of the Taoiseach. He or she is in charge of the Department of Finance responsible for all financial matters in the Republic of Ireland. Due to the importance of the cabinet post, the Minister for Finance must be a member of Dáil Éireann. Many Ministers who have held the Finance portfolio have gone on to become Taoiseach, including Jack Lynch, Charles Haughey, Albert Reynolds, John Bruton, Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen.


One of the most important aspects of the Minister's work is the creation of the annual Budget which is announced to the Dáil in a speech, usually delivered on the first Wednesday of December (although this date may be changed; for instance, the 2009 Budget was delivered to the Dáil on Tuesday, 14 October 2008, due to the rapidly deteriorating state of Ireland's public finances at the time). In the Budget the Minister details the Government's spending programme for the coming year. The Budget consists of:

  • a Financial Statement to the Dáil,
  • Budgetary Measures (a list of budgetary changes detailing the cost/yield of same),
  • Budget Statistics and Tables, and
  • various financial resolutions.

Minister for Finance 1919–present

No.NameEntered OfficeLeft OfficeParty
1.Eoin MacNeill22 January 19191 April 1919Sinn Féin
2.Michael Collins2 April 191922 August 1922Sinn Féin
3.W. T. Cosgrave (acting)17 July 192221 September 1923Pro-Treaty Sinn Féin
4.Ernest Blythe21 September 19239 March 1932Cumann na nGaedhael
5.Seán MacEntee (1st time)9 March 193216 September 1939Fianna Fáil
6.Seán T. O'Kelly16 September 193914 June 1945Fianna Fáil
7.Frank Aiken19 June 194518 February 1948Fianna Fáil
8.Patrick McGilligan18 February 194813 June 1951Fine Gael
Seán MacEntee (2nd time)13 June 19512 June 1954Fianna Fáil
9.Gerard Sweetman2 June 195420 March 1957Fine Gael
10.James Ryan20 March 195721 April 1965Fianna Fáil
11.Jack Lynch21 April 196510 November 1966Fianna Fáil
12.Charles Haughey10 November 19667 May 1970Fianna Fáil
13.George Colley (1st time)9 May 197014 March 1973Fianna Fáil
14.*Richie Ryan14 March 19735 July 1977Fine Gael
*George Colley (2nd time)5 July 197711 December 1979Fianna Fáil
15.*Michael O'Kennedy12 December 197916 December 1980Fianna Fáil
16.*Gene Fitzgerald16 December 198030 June 1981Fianna Fáil
17.John Bruton (1st time)30 June 19819 March 1982Fine Gael
18.Ray MacSharry (1st time)9 March 198214 December 1982Fianna Fáil
19.Alan Dukes14 December 198214 February 1986Fine Gael
*John Bruton (2nd time)14 February 198610 March 1987Fine Gael
*Ray MacSharry (2nd time)10 March 198724 November 1988Fianna Fáil
20.Albert Reynolds24 November 19887 November 1991Fianna Fáil
Charles Haughey (acting)7 November 199114 November 1991Fianna Fáil
21.Bertie Ahern14 November 199115 December 1994Fianna Fáil
22.Ruairi Quinn15 December 199426 June 1997Labour Party
23.Charlie McCreevy26 June 199729 September 2004Fianna Fáil
24.Brian Cowen29 September 20047 May 2008Fianna Fáil
25.Brian Lenihan7 May 2008IncumbentFianna Fáil

The asterisk (*) indicates Ministers who held both the Finance and Public Service portfolios at the same time.

See also

External links


All translations of List of Irish Finance Ministers

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