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Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade
Irish Government Logo.png
Simon Coveney

since 14 June 2017
Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
Member of
Reports toTaoiseach
SeatIveagh House, Dublin, Ireland
AppointerPresident of Ireland on the nomination of the Taoiseach
Inaugural holderGeorge Noble Plunkett
Formation22 January 1919

The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade (Irish: An tAire Gnóthaí Eachtracha agus Trádála) is the senior minister at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in the Government of Ireland.

The Minister's office is located at Iveagh House, on St Stephen's Green in Dublin; "Iveagh House" is often used as a metonym for the department as a whole. From 1922 until 1971 the title of the office was "Minister for External Affairs".

The current office holder is Simon Coveney, TD. He is assisted by:


Iveagh House, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland
Iveagh House, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Ireland

The department has the following divisions:

  • Finance Unit – oversees the financial control of the department.
  • Anglo-Irish Division – deals with Anglo-Irish relations and Northern Ireland.
  • Cultural Division – administers the state's Cultural Relations Programme.
  • European Union Division – coordinates the state's approach within the European Union (EU).
  • Development Cooperation Division – responsible for the Irish Aid programme and for Irish international development policy.
  • Passport and Consular Division – is responsible for the issuing of passports to Irish citizens.
  • Political Division – is responsible for international political issues and manages the state's participation in the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy.
  • Protocol Division – is responsible for the organisation and management of visits of VIPs to the state and of visits abroad by the President of Ireland.

The Minister has responsibility for the relations between Ireland and foreign states. The department defines its role as: "The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade advises the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministers of State and the Government on all aspects of foreign policy and coordinates Ireland's response to international developments.

It also provides advice and support on all issues relevant to the pursuit of peace, partnership and reconciliation in Northern Ireland, and between North and South of the island, and to deepening Ireland's relationship with Britain."[1]

List of office-holders

  Denotes acting Minister

Minister for Foreign Affairs 1919–1922

No. Portrait Name Term of office Party
Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland (1915) (14595894288).jpg
George Noble Plunkett 22 January 1919 26 August 1921 Sinn Féin
Arthur Griffith (1871-1922).jpg
Arthur Griffith[2] (1st time) 26 August 1921 9 January 1922 Sinn Féin
George Gavan Duffy.jpg
George Gavan Duffy 10 January 1922 25 July 1922 Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)
Arthur Griffith (1871-1922).jpg
Arthur Griffith (2nd time) 26 July 1922 12 August 1922 Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)
No image.svg
Michael Hayes 21 August 1922 9 September 1922 Sinn Féin (Pro-Treaty)

Minister for External Affairs 1922–1971

No. Portrait Name Term of office Party
Desmond FitzGerald.jpg
Desmond FitzGerald 30 August 1922 23 June 1927 Cumann na nGaedheal
Kevin O'Higgins.jpg
Kevin O'Higgins 23 June 1927 10 July 1927 Cumann na nGaedheal
William Thomas Cosgrave.jpg
W. T. Cosgrave 10 July 1927 11 October 1927 Cumann na nGaedheal
No image.svg
Patrick McGilligan 11 October 1927 9 March 1932 Cumann na nGaedheal
Eamon de Valera c 1922-30.jpg
Éamon de Valera[3] 9 March 1932 18 February 1948 Fianna Fáil
Seán MacBride 1984.jpg
Seán MacBride 18 February 1948 13 June 1951 Clann na Poblachta
No image.svg
Frank Aiken (1st time) 13 June 1951 2 June 1954 Fianna Fáil
Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave-Patricks Day 1976.jpg
Liam Cosgrave 2 June 1954 20 March 1957 Fine Gael
No image.svg
Frank Aiken (2nd time) 20 March 1957 2 July 1969 Fianna Fáil
Irish President Patrick Hillery in the Netherlands 1986 (cropped).jpg
Patrick Hillery 2 July 1969 3 March 1971 Fianna Fáil

Minister for Foreign Affairs 1971–2011

No. Portrait Name Term of office Party
Irish President Patrick Hillery in the Netherlands 1986 (cropped).jpg
Patrick Hillery 3 March 1971 3 January 1973 Fianna Fáil
No image.svg
Brian Lenihan (1st time) 3 January 1973 14 March 1973 Fianna Fáil
Garret FitzGerald-Oval Office-Patricks Day 1976.jpg
Garret FitzGerald 14 March 1973 5 July 1977 Fine Gael
No image.svg
Michael O'Kennedy 5 July 1977 11 December 1979 Fianna Fáil
No image.svg
Brian Lenihan (2nd time) 12 December 1979 30 June 1981 Fianna Fáil
No image.svg
John Kelly[4] 30 June 1981 21 October 1981 Fine Gael
No image.svg
James Dooge 21 October 1981 9 March 1982 Fine Gael
No image.svg
Gerry Collins (1st time) 9 March 1982 14 December 1982 Fianna Fáil
No image.svg
Peter Barry 14 December 1982 10 March 1987 Fine Gael
No image.svg
Brian Lenihan (3rd time) 10 March 1987 12 July 1989 Fianna Fáil
No image.svg
Gerry Collins (2nd time) 12 July 1989 11 February 1992 Fianna Fáil
No image.svg
David Andrews (1st time) 11 February 1992 12 January 1993 Fianna Fáil
Irish Tánaiste Dick Spring at the White House, 16 Nov 1993.jpg
Dick Spring (1st time) 12 January 1993 17 November 1994 Labour Party
Albert Reynolds crop.jpg
Albert Reynolds 18 November 1994 15 December 1994 Fianna Fáil
Irish Tánaiste Dick Spring at the White House, 16 Nov 1993.jpg
Dick Spring (2nd time) 15 December 1994 26 June 1997 Labour Party
No image.svg
Ray Burke 26 June 1997 7 October 1997 Fianna Fáil
No image.svg
David Andrews (2nd time) 8 October 1997 27 January 2000 Fianna Fáil
Brian Cowen in Philadelphia.jpg
Brian Cowen 27 January 2000 29 September 2004 Fianna Fáil
Dermot Ahern.JPG
Dermot Ahern 29 September 2004 7 May 2008 Fianna Fáil
Micheál Martin.jpg
Micheál Martin 7 May 2008 19 January 2011 Fianna Fáil
Brian Cowen in Philadelphia.jpg
Brian Cowen (2nd time) 19 January 2011 9 March 2011 Fianna Fáil

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade 2011–present

No. Portrait Name Term of office Party
Eamon Gilmore Conference 2010 cropped.jpg
Eamon Gilmore 9 March 2011 11 July 2014 Labour Party
Charlie Flanagan 2014.jpg
Charles Flanagan 11 July 2014 14 June 2017 Fine Gael
Simon Coveney, Minister of Defence (cropped).jpg
Simon Coveney 14 June 2017 Incumbent Fine Gael

See also


  1. ^ Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade: The Role of the Department
  2. ^ On the first occasion he held the foreign affairs portfolio, Arthur Griffith's title was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
  3. ^ Éamon de Valera, who was head of government (President of the Executive Council until 1937, renamed Taoiseach in 1937) served as his own foreign minister.
  4. ^ John Kelly, who was also Minister for Trade, Commerce and Tourism, was named as acting Minister for Foreign Affairs until Dooge was appointed to Seanad Éireann and later appointed as minister.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 September 2019, at 13:10
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