Government in Ireland

Government in Ireland

Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. It’s law is based on Common Law and legislation enacted by the  Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) under the  Irish Constitution.
In addition, regulations and directives enacted by the European Union have the force of law in Ireland.

The Constitution of Ireland sets out the form of government and defines the powers and functions of  the President, both Houses of the  Oireachtas and the Government. It  also defines the structures and the  powers of the Courts and outlines  the fundamental rights of citizens.

The President is the head of state and is elected by direct vote.

There are two Houses of Parliament, known as Dáil Éireann ( House of Representatives)
and Seanad Éireann (Senate).

Fifteen Ministers, each of whom  heads one or more Government  Departments, collectively form the
Government. Executive power is  exercised by or on the authority of  the Government, which is
responsible to the  Dáil (House of  Representatives).
The Head of the  Government is the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) and the  Tánaiste is the Deputy Prime Minister.

The Dáil has 166 members known as Teachtaí Dála (TD). They are elected on a system of proportional representation. Elections take place at least once every five years. After the most recent 2011 general election the main political parties represented in the Dáil were : Fine Gael, the Labour Party, Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin.

The Seanad has 60 members, eleven of whom are nominated by the Taoiseach while the rest are elected from a number of vocational panels and by graduates of universities. The Seanad may initiate or revise legislation (except
Finance Bills), but the Dáil has the power to reject any such amendments