Resignation of Taoiseach and Ministerial Changes: Statement.

I wish to announce for the information of the House that on Thursday, 17 November 1994 I resigned from the Office of Taoiseach by placing my resignation in the hands of the President pursuant to the Constitution. Following the resignations of Deputies Dick Spring, Ruairí Quinn, Mervyn Taylor, Michael D. Higgins, Brendan Howlin and Niamh Bhreathnach as members of the Government on the same day I have assigned the Department of Foreign Affairs to myself; the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht to the Minister for Finance, Deputy Bertie Ahern whom I have also nominated as Tánaiste; the Department of Health to the Minister for Social Welfare, Deputy Michael Woods; the Department of Equality and Law Reform to the Minister for Justice, Deputy Máire Geoghegan-Quinn; the Department of Education to the Minister for the Environment, Deputy Michael Smith; and the Department of Enterprise and Employment to the Minister for Tourism and Trade, Deputy Charlie McCreevy.

I also received and accepted, with effect from Thursday, 17 November 1994, the resignations of Deputy Emmet Stagg as Minister of State at the Department of the Environment; Deputy Brian O'Shea as Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry; Deputy Eithne Fitzgerald as Minister of State at the Department of Finance; and Deputy Joan Burton as Minister of State at the Department of Social Welfare. I do not propose to fill these vacancies.