Super-junior posts should be abolished


A chara, – Article 28 of the Constitution states, “The Government shall consist of not less than seven and not more than 15 members who shall be appointed by the President in accordance with the provisions of this Constitution.” The creation of super-junior ministers, with a right to sit at Cabinet but not to vote, is a way of creating extra higher-status junior ministerial positions without exceeding the constitutional ceiling of 15 members of government.

The position of super-junior was first created for Pat Rabbitte, then a Democratic Left deputy, in the 1994 three-party Rainbow government. It was referred to sardonically at the time as the high-chair at cabinet, created specifically for Mr Rabbitte, so that Proinsias De Rossa the leader of Democratic Left would not be their sole representative at the table of government.

The practice has now grown to three high-chairs at Cabinet – one for each of the parties in the latest three-party coalition. In my view the whole business of the super juniors violates the spirit of article 28 of the Constitution and, far from being expanded (at this time of unprecedented uncertainty for the country), should instead be abolished. – Is mise,


Co Wicklow.