An Taoiseach – The Prime Minister


Role of the Taoiseach

The Taoiseach (the Head of the Irish Government) is appointed by the President (one of the three Houses of the Oireachtas) on the nomination of Dáil Éireann (The House of Representatives, the other House is the Senate or Seanad Éireann). The Taoiseach must resign on losing a vote of confidence in the Dáil.

The Taoiseach answers questions in the Dáil where broad policy is concerned, or where issues specific to his department are concerned. The Taoiseach may also sponsor legislation which represents important new developments.

The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste (the deputy head of government), and the Minister for Finance must be members of Dáil Éireann. The other members of the Government must be members of either Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann but no more than two may be members of the Seanad.

The Taoiseach nominates the Tánaiste and the other members of the Government for the approval of the Dáil and assigns the particular Departments to the Ministers on their appointment by the President. The Taoiseach also nominates the Attorney General for appointment by the President. The Taoiseach also has the power to advise the President to accept the resignation of Ministers.

The Taoiseach also nominates eleven persons to serve in Seanad Éireann.

The Taoiseach, as head of the Government, is the central co-ordinator of the work of the Ministers and their Departments of State. The Taoiseach also advises and guides the other members of the Government when faced particularly with issues requiring the successful working of the Government as a collective authority responsible to Dáil Éireann. The

Taoiseach will set broad Government policy. The Taoiseach keeps the President informed on domestic and international policy.

The Taoiseach has certain statutory responsibilities for the reform of the law, for official statistics and for the administration of public services which are not the responsibility of any other member of the Government.

The Taoiseach may decide that particular matters are of such importance or breadth that it is appropriate that they should come under the aegis of her or his authority and be brought under the responsibility of the Department of the Taoiseach. At present they would include the Strategic Management Initiative for the modernization of the public service; co-ordinating the contribution to government policy on Northern Ireland and on Irelands relations to the European Union;The Information Society Policy Unit; The National Economic and Social Council the National Economic and Social Forum; the Information Society Commission; the Government Press Service; the National Centre for Partnership and Performance and the coordination of relations with the social partners under the partnership agreements.