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Department of Social Protection
The Department of Social Protection (Irish: An Roinn Cosanta Sóisialta) is a department of the Government of Ireland, tasked with administering Ireland's social welfare system. It oversees the provision of income support and other social services. It is led by the Minister for Social Protection who is assisted by two Ministers of State.
Department of Social Protection

Seat of the Department above the Dublin bus terminal
Department overview
Formed22 January 1947
JurisdictionGovernment of Ireland
HeadquartersÁras Mhic Dhiarmada,
Store Street,
Dublin 1, D01 WY03
53°20′59″N 6°15′8″W
Employees6,539
Annual budget€25.1 billion (2021)
Minister responsible
Department executive
John McKeon,
Secretary General
WebsiteDepartment of Social Protection
Departmental team
The official headquarters and Ministerial offices of the Department are in Áras Mhic Dhiarmada, Store Street, Dublin. The departmental team consists of the following:
Overview
In carrying out its mandate the Department undertakes a variety of functions including:
The Department formulates appropriate social protection policies and administers and manages the delivery of statutory and non-statutory schemes and services. It is responsible for the delivery of a range of social insurance and social assistance schemes including provision for unemployment, illness, maternity, caring, widowhood, retirement and old age. Payments are made to nearly 950,000 people each week with over 1.5 million people directly benefiting from those payments. The budget allocation for 2021 is €25.1 billion. Prior the dissolution of FÁS in 2013, the Department took over its employment support functions.
Payments are generally divided into three groups:
The Department provides its services through a network of 126 Intreo Centres and Branch Offices throughout the State and, increasingly, through its Mywelfare.ie portal.
Intreo Centres, launched in 2012, were a rebranding of the Social Welfare Offices around the State, updated to reflect the Department of Social Protection's new responsibilities when it brought in some 1,700 staff from FÁS and the HSE's Community Welfare Service.[2]
Controversies
In August 2019, the Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) found the Department of Social Protection's processing of personal data during the issuing of Public Services Cards (PSC) for use in transactions between a person and a public body other than the Department itself to be illegal.
The Commission also found that the blanket and indefinite retention of documents and information provided by people applying for a Public Services Card violate data protection law. The Data Protection Commission has given the Department three weeks to stop all processing of personal data where a PSC is being issued solely for the purpose of a transaction between a member of the public and a public body. Meaning that the data held on more than three million card holders must now be deleted.[3]
Agencies
History
The Department was created by the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 1946 as the Department of Social Welfare. This took effect in 1947 with James Ryan as the first Minister.
Alteration of name and transfer of functions
DateChange
22 January 1947Establishment of the Department of Social Welfare[4]
22 January 1947Transfer of Social Welfare[5]
15 October 1947Transfer of Social Welfare from the Department of Local Government[6]
3 October 1966Transfer of Labour to the Department of Labour[7]
12 July 1997Renamed as the Department of Social, Community and Family Affairs[8]
27 July 2001Transfer of Charities from the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform[9]
19 June 2002Renamed as the Department of Social and Family Affairs[10]
25 June 2002Transfer of Community Affairs to the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs[11]
1 May 2010Transfer of Family Affairs and Social Inclusion to the Department of Community, Rural and Gaeltacht Affairs[12]
2 May 2010Renamed as the Department of Social Protection[13]
1 January 2011Transfer of Redundancy and Insolvency Payments from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Innovation[14]
1 September 2017Transfer of Labour Affairs and Labour Law from the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation[15]
2 September 2017Renamed as the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection[16]
1 January 2018Transfer of Community Services Programme to the Department of Rural and Community Development[17]
14 October 2020Transfer of Employment Affairs and Employment Law to the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation[18]
21 October 2020Renamed as the Department of Social Protection[19]
References
  1. ^ "Gov.ie – Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection". gov.ie. Retrieved 13 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Merrionstreet.ie – Intreo the New Employment and Support Service Launched, 15 October 2012". Retrieved 21 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Watchdog finds Public Services Card breached data protection laws". RTÉ News. 16 August 2019. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  4. ^ "Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act, 1946 (Section 3) (Commencement) Order, 1947". Irish Statute Book. 21 January 1947. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  5. ^ "Social Welfare (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) (No. 1) Order 1947". Irish Statute Book. 21 January 1947. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  6. ^ "Social Welfare (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) (No. 2) Order 1947". Irish Statute Book. 10 October 1947. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  7. ^ "Labour (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) (No. 2) Order 1966". Irish Statute Book. 20 September 1966. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  8. ^ "Social Welfare (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 1997". Irish Statute Book. 8 July 1997. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  9. ^ "Charities and Street and House-to-House Collections (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2001". Irish Statute Book. 27 July 2001. Retrieved 18 July 2020.
  10. ^ "Social, Community and Family Affairs (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2002". Irish Statute Book. 18 June 2002. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  11. ^ "Community Affairs (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2002". Irish Statute Book. 25 June 2002. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  12. ^ "Family Affairs and Social Inclusion (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2010". Irish Statute Book. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Social and Family Affairs (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2010". Irish Statute Book. 27 April 2010. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  14. ^ "Redundancy and Insolvency Payments (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2010". Irish Statute Book. 1 May 2010. Retrieved 9 October 2020.
  15. ^ "Labour Affairs and Labour Law (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2017". Irish Statute Book. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  16. ^ "Social Protection (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2017". Irish Statute Book. 26 July 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2019.
  17. ^ "Community Services Programme (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2017". Irish Statute Book. 12 December 2017. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  18. ^ "Employment Affairs and Employment Law (Transfer of Departmental Administration and Ministerial Functions) Order 2020". Irish Statute Book. 13 October 2020. Retrieved 17 October 2019.
  19. ^ "Employment Affairs and Social Protection (Alteration of Name of Department and Title of Minister) Order 2020". Irish Statute Book. 20 October 2020. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
External links
Department of Social Protection
Last edited on 27 January 2021, at 14:25
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