Taoiseach

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Main.png Taoiseach 
(Prime Minister)

Start1922
Prime Minister of Ireland

The Taoiseach is the prime minister and head of government of Ireland. The office is appointed by the president of Ireland upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann (the lower house of the Oireachtas, Ireland's national legislature) and must retain the support of a majority in the Dáil to remain in office.

Overview

Under the Constitution of Ireland, the Taoiseach is nominated by a simple majority of the voting members of Dáil Éireann. They are then formally appointed to office by the President, who is required to appoint whomever the Dáil designates, without the option of declining to make the appointment. For this reason, the Taoiseach may, informally, be said to have been "elected" by Dáil Éireann.

If the Taoiseach loses the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann, they are not automatically removed from office. Instead, they are compelled either to resign or to persuade the President to dissolve the Dáil. If the President refuses to grant a dissolution, this effectively forces the Taoiseach to resign. To date, no president has exercised this prerogative, although the option arose in 1944 and 1994, and twice in 1982. The Taoiseach may lose the support of Dáil Éireann by the passage of a vote of no confidence, or implicitly, through the failure of a vote of confidence. Alternatively, the Dáil may refuse supply. In the event of the Taoiseach's resignation, they continue to exercise the duties and functions of office until the appointment of a successor.

The Taoiseach nominates the remaining members of the Government, who are then, with the consent of the Dáil, appointed by the President. The Taoiseach is authorised to advise the President to dismiss cabinet ministers from office; by convention the President follows this advice. The Taoiseach is further responsible for appointing eleven members of the Seanad.

Before the enactment of the 1937 Constitution, the head of government was the President of the Executive Council. This office was first held by W. T. Cosgrave of Cumann na nGaedheal from 1922 to1932, and then by Éamon de Valera of Fianna Fáil from 1932 to 1937.



 

Office Holders on Wikispooks

NameFromTo
John Bruton15 December 199426 June 1997
Garret Fitzgerald14 December 198210 March 1987
Garret Fitzgerald30 June 19819 March 1982


References