Agency Termination in Ireland: Culls and bonfires, or life after death?

Muiris Maccarthaigh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)
88 Downloads (Pure)


The termination of state agencies has been a prominent aspect of administrative 'rationalization' programmes arising from the Global Financial Crisis. In this article, the frequency and type of agency terminations that have occurred in Ireland post-2008 are examined in longitudinal perspective. Following a consideration of agency types, the logic of agency rationalization is explored with a focus on the different ways in which agencies are terminated. Drawing on a unique dataset of Irish state agencies over a 90-year period, the article presents evidence concerning the degree to which terminations over the 2008-11 period differ, if at all, from those that have occurred previously. In concluding, the article proposes that rather than witnessing agency 'culls' and 'bonfires', there is 'life after death' for agencies and their work.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1017-1037
Number of pages21
JournalPublic Administration
Issue number4
Early online date26 May 2014
Publication statusPublished - 2014


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