Northern Ireland Office

United Kingdom government ministerial department

The Northern Ireland Office (NIO) was set up in 1971. It is a ministry in the British Government which looks after the affairs of Northern Ireland. It head is the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The job of Secretary of State is less important now because the Northern Ireland Assembly and the ministers in the assembly do a lot of the work of the Northern Ireland Office.

The devolution of police and justice in April 2010 transferred many of the NIO's previous responsibilities to the Northern Ireland Assembly and its devolved government, the Northern Ireland Executive. The Department of Justice (Northern Ireland) looks after those matters. This transfer of power resulted in a smaller Northern Ireland Office, similar to the Scotland Office and Wales Office.