Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Ireland)


Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Ireland)

The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs (Irish: "Aire Puist agus Telegrafa"; sometimes called the P⁊T) was a senior post in the government of the Irish Free State and the Republic of Ireland from 1924 to 1984, when the post and the department was abolished.

The office of Minister for Post and Telegraphs was created in the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924, which reorganized the Irish system of government. It assumed the role formerly exercised by the Postmaster-General in the administration of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland.

The Ministers and Secretaries Act, Section (1), Part (ix) defines the department's role:

The Minister for Posts and Telegraphs was responsible for Ireland's postal and telecommunications services from 1924 to 1984. At its height time the department was one of the largest civil service departments in Ireland. The reform of the sector and department began in 1978 with the creation of the Posts and Telegraphs Review Group. This led after a report was delivered in 1979, to the creation of the ad-hoc Interim Board for Posts ("An Bord Poist"), chaired by Feargal Quinn, and the Interim Board for Telecommunications ("An Bord Telecom"), chaired by Michael Smurfit. These two boards continued to sit until An Post and Telecom Éireann, respectively, replaced them. These state-sponsored bodies were created in 1984.

The Minister of Posts and Telegraphs ceased to exist at that time, and its powers and responsibilities were transferred to the newly-created office of Minister for Communications; this was one of the largest reorganisations of the civil service in modern times. As a result, the number of civil service employees nearly halved overnight because of the transfer of personnel.

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