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Ireland Government - 2024


GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES  Spanish Simplified Chinese French German Russian Hindi Arabic Portuguese

Country name

conventional long form: none

conventional short form: Ireland

local long form: none

local short form: Eire

etymology: the modern Irish name "Eire" evolved from the Gaelic "Eriu," the name of the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land); the names "Ireland" in English and "Eire" in Irish are direct translations of each other

Government type

parliamentary republic


name: Dublin

geographic coordinates: 53 19 N, 6 14 W

time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October

etymology: derived from Irish dubh and lind meaning respectively "black, dark" and "pool" and which referred to the dark tidal pool where the River Poddle entered the River Liffey; today the area is the site of the castle gardens behind Dublin Castle

Administrative divisions

28 counties and 3 cities*; Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Cork*, Donegal, Dublin*, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Galway, Galway*, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, South Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow


6 December 1921 (from the UK by the Anglo-Irish Treaty, which ended British rule); 6 December 1922 (Irish Free State established); 18 April 1949 (Republic of Ireland Act enabled)

National holiday

Saint Patrick's Day, 17 March; note - marks the traditional death date of Saint Patrick, patron saint of Ireland, during the latter half of the fifth century A.D. (most commonly cited years are c. 461 and c. 493); although Saint Patrick's feast day was celebrated in Ireland as early as the ninth century, it only became an official public holiday in Ireland in 1903


history: previous 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937

amendments: proposed as bills by Parliament; passage requires majority vote by both the Senate and House of Representatives, majority vote in a referendum, and presidential signature; amended many times, last in 2019

Legal system

common law system based on the English model but substantially modified by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts by Supreme Court

International law organization participation

accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction


citizenship by birth: no, unless a parent of a child born in Ireland has been legally resident in Ireland for at least three of the four years prior to the birth of the child

citizenship by descent only: yes

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 4 of the previous 8 years


18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 11 November 2011)

head of government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Leo VARADKAR (since 16 December 2022); note - VARADKAR resigned on 20 March 2024 but remains in caretaker status until a successor is appointed

cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president, approved by the Dali Eireann (lower house of Parliament)

elections/appointments: president directly elected by majority popular vote for a 7-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 26 October 2018 (next to be held no later than November 2025); taoiseach (prime minister) nominated by the House of Representatives (Dail Eireann), appointed by the president

election results:
Michael D. HIGGINS reelected president in first round; percent of vote in first round - Michael D. HIGGINS (independent) 55.8%, Peter CASEY (independent) 23.3%, Sean GALLAGHER (independent) 6.4%, Liadh NI RIADA (Sinn Fein) 6.4%, Joan FREEMAN (independent) 6%, Gavin DUFFY (independent) 2.2%

2011: Michael D. HIGGINS elected president in second round; percent of vote in first round - Michael D. HIGGINS (Labor) 39.6%, Sean GALLAGHER (independent) 28.5%, Martin McGuinness (Sinn Féin) 13.7%, Gay Mitchell (Fine Gael) 6.4%, David Norris (independent) 6.2%, Mary DAVIS (independent) 2.7%; percent of vote in second round - Michael D. HIGGINS 56.8%, Sean GALLAGHER 35.5%

Legislative branch

description: bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of:
Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats; 49 members indirectly elected from 5 vocational panels of nominees by an electoral college, 11 appointed by the prime minister
House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (160 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; all Parliament members serve 5-year terms)

Senate - last held early on 21-30 May 2020 (next to be held in March 2025)
House of Representatives - last held on 8 February 2020 (next to be held no later than March 2025)

election results: 
Senate - percent of vote by party - Fianna Fail 35%, Fine Gael 26.7%, Green Party 6.7%, Labor Party 6.7%, Sinn Fein 6.7%, other 1.6%, independent 16.7%; seats by party - Fianna Fail 21, Fine Gael 16, Green Party 4Labor Party 4, Sinn Fein 4, other 1, independent 10; composition - men 36, women 24, percent of women 40%  
House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Fianna Fail 23.8%, Sinn Fein 23.1%, Fine Gael 21.9%, Green Party 7.5%, other 11.8%, independent 11.9%; seats by party - Fianna Fail 38, Sinn Fein 37, Fine Gael 35, Green Party 12, Labor Party 6, Social Democrats 6, PBPS 5, other 2, independent 19; composition as of March 2022 - men 123, women 37, percent of women 23.1%; note - total Parliament percent of women 27.7%

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court of Ireland (consists of the chief justice, 9 judges, 2 ex-officio members - the presidents of the High Court and Court of Appeal - and organized in 3-, 5-, or 7-judge panels, depending on the importance or complexity of an issue of law)

judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the prime minister and Cabinet and appointed by the president; chief justice serves in the position for 7 years; judges can serve until age 70

subordinate courts: High Court, Court of Appeal; circuit and district courts; criminal courts

Political parties and leaders

Aontu [Peadar TOIBIN]
Solidarity-People Before Profit or PBPS [collective leadership]
Fianna Fail [Micheal MARTIN]
Fine Gael [Simon HARRIS]
Green Party [Eamon RYAN]
Human Dignity Alliance [Ronan MULLEN]
Labor (Labour) Party Ivana BACIK]
Right to Change or RTC [Joan COLLINS]
Sinn Fein [Mary Lou McDONALD]
Social Democrats [Holly CAIRNS]
Socialist Party [collective leadership]
The Workers' Party [collective leadership]

International organization participation

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

Diplomatic representation in the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Geraldine Byrne NASON (since 16 September 2022)

chancery: 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 462-3939

FAX: [1] (202) 232-5993

email address and website:

consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Austin (TX), Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco

Diplomatic representation from the US

chief of mission: Ambassador Claire D. CRONIN (since 10 February 2022)

embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4

mailing address: 5290 Dublin Place, Washington DC  20521-5290

telephone: [353] (1) 668-8777

FAX: [353] (1) 688-8056

email address and website:

Flag description

three equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange; officially the flag colors have no meaning, but a common interpretation is that the green represents the Irish nationalist (Gaelic) tradition of Ireland; orange represents the Orange tradition (minority supporters of William of Orange); white symbolizes peace (or a lasting truce) between the green and the orange

note: similar to the flag of Cote d'Ivoire, which is shorter and has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter and has colors of green (hoist side), white, and red

National symbol(s)

harp, shamrock (trefoil); national colors: blue, green

National anthem

name: "Amhran na bhFiann" (The Soldier's Song)

lyrics/music: Peadar KEARNEY [English], Liam O RINN [Irish]/Patrick HEENEY and Peadar KEARNEY

note: adopted 1926; instead of "Amhran na bhFiann," the song "Ireland's Call" is often used at athletic events where citizens of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete as a unified team

National heritage

total World Heritage Sites: 2 (both cultural)

selected World Heritage Site locales: Brú na Bóinne - Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend of the Boyne; Sceilg Mhichíl

NOTE: The information regarding Ireland on this page is re-published from the 2024 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency and other sources. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Ireland 2024 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Ireland 2024 should be addressed to the CIA or the source cited on each page.

This page was last modified 04 May 24, Copyright © 2024 ITA all rights reserved.