Ireland: Government

Ireland Flag
Coat of Arms of Ireland

Key Figures

Chief of State: President Michael D. Higgins

Head of Government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny

Overview

Government Name: Ireland

Constitution: Adopted: 1937; mainly focused upon guaranteeing certain fundamental rights and defining the structure of government. Constitution can only be amended by means of a referendum.

Government Type: Republic and Parliamentary Democracy

Main Powers Election Process Election Cycle Source: ElectionGuide, http://www.electionguide.org/
Executive

The president is largely a ceremonial office, but does have discretionary powers. The Taioseach (prime minister) can instruct the president to dismiss ministers and also request, based upon his own initiative, for a parliamentary dissolution.

The president is elected by a majority system with preferential vote. The Taoiseach is appointed by the president.

7 years

Judicial

The court of final appeal may use judicial review, and declare laws and acts of the state to be invalid if they do not represent the constitutional views.

Judges are nominated by the prime minister and cabinet, and are appointed by the president.

Mandatory retirement age of 70

Legislative

The Dail Eireann is the only house that is able to introduce and amend money bills. The Seanad Eireann has the power to delay legislative proposals and is allowed 90 days to consider and amend bills.

The Seanad Eireanns are elected by indirect vote. 11 members are appointed by the prime minister, and 6 members are elected by indirect vote. The Dail Eireann are elected through a single transferable vote (STV) proportional representation system.

5 years

International Relations

Foreign Policy Trends: Member of the European Union and the United Nations. Ireland has major relations with the United Kingdom to attempt to end violence, trade relations with the U.S., and a focus upon improving human rights with China.

Regional Trade Blocs: European Union

Treaties: Common Security and Defense Policy


International Organization Participation  Source: CIA World Factbook

ADB Australia Group BIS CD CE EAPC
EBRD ECB EIB EMU ESA EU
FAO FATF IAEA IBRD ICAO ICC
ICRM IDA IEA IFAD IFC IFRCS
IGAD IHO ILO IMF IMO Interpol
IOC IOM IPU ISO ITSO ITU
ITUC MIGA MINURSO MONUSCO NEA NSG
OAS OECD OPCW OSCE Paris Club PCA
PFP UN UNCTAD UNESCO UNHCR UNIDO
UNIFIL UNITAR UNOCI UNRWA UNTSO UPU
WCO WHO WIPO WMO WTO ZC

Note: Click table to see details


Environmental Agreements  Source: CIA World Factbook

Air Pollution Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants Air Pollution-Sulfur 94 Biodiversity Climate Change
Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol Desertification Endangered Species Environmental Modification Hazardous Wastes Law of the Sea
Marine Dumping Marine Life Conservation Ozone Layer Protection Ship Pollution Tropical Timber 06 Wetlands
Whaling

Note: Click table to see details


Tax Authority: The Revenue Commissioners

Tax Name: VAT


Sources:

CIA World Factbook and U.S. Bilateral Relations Fact Sheets except where stated otherwise.

Glossary