Leo Baeck College
Leo Baeck College is a funded rabbinical seminary and centre for the training of teachers in Jewish education. Based now at the Sternberg Centre, East End Road, Finchley, in the London Borough of Barnet, it was founded by Rabbi Dr Werner van der Zyl in 1956 and is sponsored by The Movement for Reform Judaism, Liberal Judaism and the United Jewish Israel Appeal, it is named after the inspirational 20th-century German Liberal rabbi Leo Baeck. Rabbinic ordinations from Leo Baeck College are recognised worldwide by the Liberal and Masorti movements. To date, Leo Baeck College has trained over 170 rabbis, its alumni serving Jewish communities in the United Kingdom and across the world. Leo Baeck College pioneered the training of rabbis to serve the Jewish communities of the former Soviet Union and has been at the forefront of Jewish-Christian-Muslim dialogue for decades. In addition to the training of rabbis, Leo Baeck College trains teachers, provides an educational consultancy for religion schools and Jewish day schools, supports the development of community leaders, provides access to Jewish learning for all through interfaith work.
Before Leo Baeck College was founded there was no institution for training Reform rabbis in Britain. All ministers had either received their training in the United States or were graduates of the Orthodox Jews' College who had switched allegiance and served Reform synagogues; the College was founded in 1956 as the Jewish Theological College of London for the training of Liberal and Reform rabbis and was seen as a successor organisation to the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums in Berlin and the Jewish Theological Seminary of Breslau. It was renamed Leo Baeck College shortly afterwards at van der Zyl's suggestion in honour of his teacher, Dr Leo Baeck, the inspirational 20th-century German Liberal rabbi; the College was housed at West London Synagogue and expanded into a new building at the West London Synagogue site in 1963. It moved in 1981 to larger premises at the Manor House in North Finchley, along with other institutions within the Progressive movement; this in turn led to a major growth in its activities its extra-mural department, which provided a wide range of day-time and evening activities for the wider public.
Its teachers training department expanded and formed a separate education department that served both the Reform and Liberal movements being known as the Centre for Jewish Education. In 2001 CJE integrated with the old Leo Baeck College to become Leo Baeck College–Centre for Jewish Education; the College's first two students were Lionel Blue and Michael Leigh, both of whom became distinguished rabbis. Female students had been admitted from the outset, although none graduated as rabbis until Jacqueline Tabick in 1975. Among Leo Baeck’s other alumni are: Rabbi Dr Tony Bayfield. In the first few years all the faculty members were refugees from Nazism. Van der Zyl's work was furthered by many others, including Rabbis Hugo Gryn and John D Rayner, who jointly supervised the College's affairs after his retirement. In 1972 Rabbi Dr Albert Friedlander became Director and during his tenure the student body grew in size. Faculty members have included Rabbi Dr Louis Jacobs and Karen Armstrong. In 1985 Rabbi Professor Jonathan Magonet became the first full-time Principal, a position he held for 20 years, retiring in 2005.
He was succeeded by Rabbi Professor Marc Saperstein in the following year, when the combined new College adopted the name Leo Baeck College. Saperstein completed his term of office in July 2011 and continues to teach at the College as Professor of Jewish History and Homiletics; the current Principal is Rabbi Dr Deborah Kahn-Harris, a graduate of Leo Baeck College and one of the first woman rabbis to lead a mainstream rabbinic seminary. The College's library has 60,000 books, including donations of books from the former Hochschule library and many rare editions; the College announced the introduction of a new part-time BA in Jewish education from autumn 2013 – the only one of its kind in the country. The BA and the College's existing part-time MA in Jewish education are now validated by the Institute for Theological Partnerships at Winchester University, as is the MA in theology taken by rabbinic students, awarded by King's College London. European Judaism Fridolin Friedmann, German progressive educator and lecturer on Jewish history Ellen Littmann: "The First Ten Years of the Leo Baeck College" in Dow Marmur: Reform Judaism, Reform Synagogues of Great Britain, London, 1973 Michael Leigh: "1956 and All That" in Jonathan Romain: Renewing the Vision, SCM Press, Norwich, 1996.
Official website 50 years of Leo Baeck College: An overview 1956–2006 Scriptures in Dialogue – Leo Baeck College
Mary Harney is an Irish former politician. She served as Tánaiste from 1997 to 2006, Minister for Enterprise and Employment from 1997 to 2004, as Minister for Health and Children from 2004 to 2011, she served as a Teachta Dála for the Dublin South-West and Dublin Mid-West constituencies from 1981 to 2011. She was leader of the Progressive Democrats party between 1993 and 2006 and again from 2007 to 2008, she resumed her role as leader in 2007 after her successor, Michael McDowell, lost his seat at the 2007 general election. She is the longest-ever serving female member of Dáil Éireann. Harney was born in Portiuncula Hospital, County Galway in 1953, her parents, who lived in nearby Ahascragh, were both farmers but her family moved to Newcastle, County Dublin shortly after her birth. She was educated at the Convent of Mercy and Presentation Convent, Clondalkin before studying at Trinity College Dublin. During her time at university, she made history by becoming the first female auditor of the College Historical Society.
In 1976, she graduated with a third class Bachelor of Arts in Economic and Social Studies, for a brief time was a secondary school teacher at Castleknock College in Dublin. Harney came to the attention of Fianna Fáil leader Jack Lynch and stood unsuccessfully as a Fianna Fáil candidate in the 1977 general election, she was appointed to Seanad Éireann by Lynch who had become Taoiseach. She was the youngest member of the Seanad when appointed, aged 24. In 1979, Harney had her first electoral success. Two years she was elected to the Dáil at the 1981 general election for Dublin South-West, she retained her seat at every election until her retirement in 2011, moving to the new Dublin Mid-West constituency at the 2002 general election when it was created from part of Dublin South-West. As a member of the so-called Gang of 22, she was expelled from the party after voting in favour of the Anglo-Irish Agreement in 1985. Harney went on to become a founder member of the Progressive Democrats with Desmond O'Malley and Bobby Molloy in December 1985.
Following the 1989 general election the Progressive Democrats entered into a coalition government with Fianna Fáil, led at the time by Charles Haughey. Harney was appointed Minister of State with responsibility for Environmental Protection; as Minister of State she legislated to ban the sale of bituminous coal in Dublin, thereby eliminating smog from the city. She served in this position until the party withdrew from government in late 1992. In February 1993, Harney was appointed Deputy Leader of the Progressive Democrats, succeeded O'Malley as party Leader in October of that year. Following the 1997 general election and lengthy negotiations, the Progressive Democrats entered into coalition government with Fianna Fáil. Harney was appointed the first female Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Employment. After the 2002 general election Harney led the Progressive Democrats, who had doubled their seats from four to eight, back into coalition with Fianna Fáil, the first time a government had been re-elected since 1969.
She was re-appointed Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise and Employment. Harney was Ireland's representative to the European Council of Ministers for the Software Patents Directive; because the Council's first reading fell during the Irish Presidency of the European Council, she was chair of the meeting that discarded the amendments by the European Parliament which confirmed the exclusion of software innovations from what constitutes patentable subject matter. In December 2001, Harney controversially used an Air Corps aircraft to travel to County Leitrim to open a friend's off-licence in Manorhamilton. Harney apologised for having abused her position in using the plane for non-government business and admitted that using the plane was wrong; the aircraft was to be used 90% of the time for maritime surveillance. In a government reshuffle on 29 September 2004 Harney was appointed Minister for Health and Children. In May 2006, the Irish Nurses Organisation unanimously passed a motion of no confidence in Mary Harney, accusing her of being negative and antagonistic towards nurses.
Her policy of transferring private beds in public hospitals to operated hospitals attracted criticism. In March 2006, 16 months after she took office as health minister, the INO claimed that a record number of 455 people were waiting on hospital trolleys on one day. In June 2006 the Health Consumer Powerhouse ranked the Irish health service as the second-least "consumer-friendly" in the European Union and Switzerland, coming 25th out of 26 countries, ahead of only Lithuania. However, when the same survey was conducted a year the Irish health service showed significant improvement, coming 16th out of 29 countries. Ireland scored higher than Britain's NHS which came 17th in the survey. In July 2006, Ireland on Sunday reported that Mary Harney's mother, Mrs Sarah Harney, jumped a queue of two emergency cases to receive hip surgery at The Adelaide and Meath Hospital in Tallaght; the allegation was denied by the minister. Sixty percent of respondents to an Irish Times/TNS mrbi poll in December 2006 said that the appointment of Harney to the position of Minister for Health had not led to any improvement in the health service.
Fine Gael, the Labour Party and Harney's own Progressive Democrats supporters were those who expressed most satisfaction with people in Dublin feeling most dissatisfaction regionally. Harney rejected criticisms from Fine Gael during the same month that there had been a 25% increase in people waiting on
House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
Education in Northern Ireland
Education in Northern Ireland differs from systems used elsewhere in the United Kingdom, although it is similar to Wales. A child's age on 1 July determines the point of entry into the relevant stage of education, unlike England and Wales where it is 1 September. Northern Ireland's results at GCSE and A-Level are top in the UK. At A-Level and BTEC level 3, one third of students in Northern Ireland achieved A and distinction grades in 2007, a higher proportion than in England and Wales; the Department of Education is responsible for Northern Ireland's education policy, with the exception of the higher and further education sector, the responsibility of the Department for the Economy. The Department of Education's main areas of responsibility cover pre-school, post-primary and special education, its primary statutory duty is to promote the education of the people of Northern Ireland and to ensure the effective implementation of education policy. The Education Authority is responsible for ensuring that efficient and effective primary and secondary education services are available to meet the needs of children and young people, support for the provision of efficient and effective youth services.
These services were delivered by the five Education and Library Boards until the creation of the Education Authority, which assumed these roles in 2015. Classroom 2000, on behalf of the authority, is responsible for the provision of information and communications technology managed services to all schools in Northern Ireland; each of the former ELBs is now a sub region of the Education Authority: The majority of examinations sat, education plans followed, in Northern Irish schools are set by the Council for the Curriculum, Examinations & Assessment. All schools in Northern Ireland follow the Northern Ireland Curriculum, based on the National Curriculum used in England and Wales. At age 11, on entering secondary education, all pupils study a broad base of subjects which include geography, mathematics, physical education and modern languages. There are proposals to reform the curriculum to make its emphasis more skills-based under which, in addition to those mentioned, home economics and global citizenship and personal and health education would become compulsory subjects.
At age 14, pupils select which subjects to continue to study for General Certificate of Secondary Education examinations. It is compulsory to study English and religious studies, although a full GCSE course does not have to be studied for the latter. In addition, pupils elect to continue with other subjects and many study for eight or nine GCSEs but up to ten or eleven. GCSEs mark the end of compulsory education in Northern Ireland. At age 16, some pupils stay at school and choose to study Advanced Level AS and A2 level subjects or more vocational qualifications such as Applied Advanced Levels; those choosing AS and A2 levels pick three or four subjects and success in these can determine acceptance into higher education courses at university. Northern Ireland ran a transfer test at a governmental level to decide which primary school students qualified for a place at a Grammar School; this system was abolished by Caitríona Ruane during her time as Minister of Education, a decision, confirmed by UK Government direct rule ministers.
This policy was continued by subsequent minister John O'Dowd. The majority of grammar schools did, decide to set their own entrance exams, a situation which continues to this day. There are two types in Northern Ireland: -- GL assessment. Controlled schools in Northern Ireland are under the management of the school's board of governors and the employing authority is the Education Authority. Although open to those of all faiths and none, many of these schools were Protestant church schools, whose control was transferred to the state in the first half of the twentieth century; the three largest Protestant churches, known as the transferors, maintain a link with the schools through church representation on controlled school boards of governors. The controlled sector is the largest education sector in Northern Ireland. According to figures from the Department of Education for 2016/2017, there are 560 controlled schools, 48% of the total number of schools registered in Northern Ireland; the number of pupils attending controlled schools is 140,632 42% of all pupils in Northern Ireland.
In terms of religious breakdown, 66% of pupils in controlled schools are Protestant, 10% are Catholic, 18% have no religion and 6% are ‘other’. Controlled schools are managed by the Education Authority through Boards of Governors. In October 2014 an Education Bill was put before the assembly, which created the Education Authority. Alongside this, the Minister and the Northern Ireland Executive agreed to establish and fund a support body for schools in the controlled sector; the Controlled Schools’ Support Council became operational on 1 September 2016, its headquarters are in Stranmillis University College, Belfast. The CSSC seeks to support the interests of schools in the controlled sector through a focus on five key areas: advocacy, governance, raising standards and area planning. 90% of controlled schools are members of the Controlled Schools' Support Council There are 466 Roman Catholic-managed schools in Northern Ireland. According to figures from the Department of Education for 2016/2017, the number of pup
West London Synagogue
The West London Synagogue of British Jews, abbreviated WLS, is a Reform synagogue and congregation near Marble Arch in central London. It was established on 15 April 1840; the current synagogue building in Upper Berkeley Street, dedicated in 1870, is Grade II listed. It is the oldest house of prayer affiliated with the Movement for Reform Judaism and is one of the oldest synagogues in the United Kingdom. On 15 April 1840, 24 members of the Mocatta and other families announced their secession from their respective congregations, the Sephardi Bevis Marks Synagogue and the Ashkenazi Great Synagogue of London, their intention to form a prayer group for neither "German nor Portuguese" Jews but for "British Jews", which would allow them to worship together; the Mocattas and Goldsmids had been quarrelling with the wardens and complaining over lack of decorum for years. The new prayer group, convening in Burton Street, hired Reverend David Woolf Marks in March 1841. Marks and the congregation adopted a unique, bibliocentric approach termed "neo-Karaism" by their critics rejecting the authority of the Oral Torah.
They abolished the second day of festivals and excised various prayers grounded in rabbinic tradition. It was only after a century that the congregation adopted mainstream Reform Judaism. On 27 January 1842, the West London Synagogue of British Jews was consecrated in its first permanent building, at Burton Street Chapel. By 1848, it had become too crowded for the congregation. A new location was found, in Margaret Street, Cavendish Square, at a cost of £5,000, it was dedicated on 25 January 1849. In 1867, a new location was required again; the current synagogue building in Upper Berkeley Street was opened on 22 September 1870. It had capacity for 1,000 congregants at the time. With Marks' retirement in 1895, he was replaced by Rabbi Morris Joseph, who abandoned his predecessor's philosophy, never popular with constituents, brought West London closer to mainland Reform, by removing from the liturgy its petitions for the restoration of sacrifices in Jerusalem. During the 1920s, mixed seating was introduced.
In 1929, the synagogue appointed Hebrew Union College graduate Rabbi Harold F. Reinhart, who brought it into the World Union for Progressive Judaism. In 1942, West London Synagogue was a founding member of the Associated British Synagogues. In 1957 Rabbi Reinhart resigned as Senior Minister and, accompanied by 80 former members of West London synagogue, established the New London Synagogue which, shortly afterwards, was renamed Westminster Synagogue, he was succeeded by Rabbi Werner van der Zyl, who served as Senior Rabbi from 1958 to 1968. Rabbi Hugo Gryn succeeded van der Zyl in 1968, until his death in 1996; the synagogue's archives, from 1841 to 1942, are held in the University of Southampton Libraries Special Collections. Rabbi Julia, Baroness Neuberger became senior rabbi in 2011; the current rabbinic team includes Rabbi Helen Freeman, Rabbi David Mitchell, Rabbi Neil Janes and Rabbi Sybil Sheridan. As of 2018 the wardens are: Rita Yusupoff, Gillian Westwood, David Chapman, Vivien Feather, Oliver Walton and Liliane Chan.
Services at West London Synagogue follow the prayer books of the Movement for Reform Judaism, which incorporate material from both Sephardi and Ashkenazi traditions. A choir and organ, located behind a screen to the rear of the bimah, accompany the congregation in all musical parts of the service except for the aleinu and the kaddish. Men and women sit together during services, play equal parts in leading them. Male worshippers are required to wear a kippah; the current building, dating from 1870, is located near Marble Arch in London. The main sanctuary was built in the Neo-Byzantine architectural style by Emmanuel, its premises, which extend into Seymour Place contain offices, a library and various community facilities. The bimah and ark were built in 1869 -- 70 by Emmanuel; the synagogue's organ, renovated in 2007, has 55 stops on four manuals and pedal. List of Jewish communities in the United Kingdom List of former synagogues in the United Kingdom Movement for Reform Judaism Official website The Movement for Reform Judaism West London Synagogue of British Jews on Jewish Communities and Records – UK
Alma mater is an allegorical Latin phrase for a university, school, or college that one attended. In US usage it can mean the school from which one graduated; the phrase is variously translated as "nourishing mother", "nursing mother", or "fostering mother", suggesting that a school provides intellectual nourishment to its students. Fine arts will depict educational institutions using a robed woman as a visual metaphor. Before its current usage, alma mater was an honorific title for various Latin mother goddesses Ceres or Cybele, in Catholicism for the Virgin Mary, it entered academic usage when the University of Bologna adopted the motto Alma Mater Studiorum, which describes its heritage as the oldest operating university in the Western world. It is related to alumnus, a term used for a university graduate that means a "nursling" or "one, nourished". Although alma was a common epithet for Ceres, Cybele and other mother goddesses, it was not used in conjunction with mater in classical Latin. In the Oxford Latin Dictionary, the phrase is attributed to Lucretius' De rerum natura, where it is used as an epithet to describe an earth goddess: After the fall of Rome, the term came into Christian liturgical usage in association with the Virgin Mary.
"Alma Redemptoris Mater" is a well-known 11th century antiphon devoted to Mary. The earliest documented use of the term to refer to a university in an English-speaking country is in 1600, when the University of Cambridge printer, John Legate, began using an emblem for the university's press; the device's first-known appearance is on the title-page of William Perkins' A Golden Chain, where the Latin phrase Alma Mater Cantabrigia is inscribed on a pedestal bearing a nude, lactating woman wearing a mural crown. In English etymological reference works, the first university-related usage is cited in 1710, when an academic mother figure is mentioned in a remembrance of Henry More by Richard Ward. Many historic European universities have adopted Alma Mater as part of the Latin translation of their official name; the University of Bologna Latin name, Alma Mater Studiorum, refers to its status as the oldest continuously operating university in the world. Other European universities, such as the Alma Mater Lipsiensis in Leipzig, Germany, or Alma Mater Jagiellonica, have used the expression in conjunction with geographical or foundational characteristics.
At least one, the Alma Mater Europaea in Salzburg, Austria, an international university founded by the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in 2010, uses the term as its official name. In the United States, the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, has been called the "Alma Mater of the Nation" because of its ties to the country's founding. At Queen's University in Kingston and the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia, the main student government is known as the Alma Mater Society; the ancient Roman world had many statues of the Alma Mater, some still extant. Modern sculptures are found in prominent locations on several American university campuses. For example, in the United States: there is a well-known bronze statue of Alma Mater by Daniel Chester French situated on the steps of Columbia University's Low Library. An altarpiece mural in Yale University's Sterling Memorial Library, painted in 1932 by Eugene Savage, depicts the Alma Mater as a bearer of light and truth, standing in the midst of the personified arts and sciences.
Outside the United States, there is an Alma Mater sculpture on the steps of the monumental entrance to the Universidad de La Habana, in Havana, Cuba. The statue was cast in 1919 by Mario Korbel, with Feliciana Villalón Wilson as the inspiration for Alma Mater, it was installed in its current location in 1927, at the direction of architect Raul Otero. Media related to Alma mater at Wikimedia Commons The dictionary definition of alma mater at Wiktionary Alma Mater Europaea website
The Tánaiste is the deputy head of the government of Ireland and thus holder of its second-most senior office. The Tánaiste is appointed by the President of Ireland on the advice of the Taoiseach; the current office holder is Simon Coveney, TD, appointed on 30 November 2017. Tánaiste was the Irish word for the heir of the chief or king, under the Gaelic system of tanistry. Before independence, the British Lord Lieutenant of Ireland or Viceroy was sometimes referred to in the Irish language as An Tánaiste-Rí, literally'the deputy king'; the office was created in 1937 under the new Constitution of Ireland, replacing the previous office of Vice-President of the Executive Council that had existed under the Free State constitution. This office was first held by Kevin O'Higgins of Cumann na nGaedheal from 1922 to 1927; the Taoiseach nominates a member of Dáil Éireann, who will be a member of the government, to the office. The nominee receives their seal of office from the President of Ireland in recognition of their appointment.
The Tánaiste acts in the place of the Taoiseach during his or her temporary absence. In the event of the Taoiseach's death or permanent incapacitation, the Tánaiste acts in their stead until another Taoiseach is appointed; the Tánaiste is, ex officio, a member of the Council of State. The Tánaiste chairs meetings of the government in the absence of the Taoiseach and may take questions on their behalf in the Dáil or Seanad. Aside from these duties, the title is honorific as the Constitution does not confer any additional powers on the office holder. While the Department of the Taoiseach is a Department of State, there is no equivalent for the Tánaiste. In theory the Tánaiste could be a minister without portfolio but every Tánaiste has in parallel held a ministerial portfolio as head of a Department of State. Dick Spring in the 1994–97 "Rainbow Coalition" had an official "Office of the Tánaiste", though other parties have not used this nomenclature. Under Spring, Eithne Fitzgerald was "Minister of State at the Office of the Tánaiste", with responsibility for coordinating Labour policy in the coalition.
Under a coalition government, the Tánaiste is the leader of the second-largest government party, just as the Taoiseach is leader of the largest. Three Tánaistí held the office of Taoiseach: Seán Lemass, Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen. Two Tánaistí were elected as President of Ireland: Seán T. O'Kelly and Erskine H. Childers. Tanistry Connolly, Eileen. "The government and the governmental system". In Coakley, John. Politics in the Republic of Ireland. Psychology Press. ISBN 9780415280662. Retrieved 20 April 2016