Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The national parliament (in the Irish
language, Oireachtas) consists of the President (an tUachtar�n) and two Houses:
a House of Representatives (D�il �ireann) and a Senate (Seanad �ireann).
The Committees of the State are exercised by, or on the authority of,
The Constitution provides that the Government shall consist of
not less than seven and not more than fifteen members. The Taoiseach (Prime Minister), T�naiste
and Minister for Finance must be members of the D�il. The other members of the
Government may be members of the D�il or Seanad, but not more than two may be
members of the Seanad.
The Government acts collectively and is responsible to
The Taoiseach is appointed by the President on the nomination of the
D�il. He must resign if he ceases to retain the support of a majority in the
D�il. The Taoiseach nominates one member of the
Government to be T�naiste.
The T�naiste acts in place of the Taoiseach if the
Taoiseach is temporarily absent or becomes incapacitated.
General, while not a member of the Government, acts as legal advisor to the
Government and may attend Cabinet meetings. The Attorney General's tenure of
office is normally coterminous with that of the Government.
The Taoiseach assigns Departments of State to members of the Government.
Usually, each member of the Government heads one Department of State, but
occasionally a Minister is responsible for more than one Department.
of State, who are not members of the Government, assist Government Ministers in
their Parliamentary and Departmental work. The maximum number of Ministers of
State is fixed by law at seventeen.