Taoiseach, an equivalent of a prime minister, is nominated by the lower house of the Oireachtas before the appointment by the president of the Republic of Ireland who cannot reject his nomination according to the constitution. Taoiseach nominates the other members of government who are appointed by the government upon the consent of the Dail. He or she can advise the president to dismiss a cabinet minister. Taoiseach also appoints the 11 members of the Seanad. Taoiseach is advised and supported by the Department of the Taoiseach.
The Earliest Heads Of State Of Ireland
Éamon de Valera
Éamon de Valera was an Irish statesman and politician born in 1882. He served for three terms as the head of government and state. Éamon de Valera led the country to the adoption of the Constitution of Ireland. He was a political leader in the War of Independence who began his involvement in politics in 1913. He founded the Fianna Fail, a political movement in 1926 for which he became the President of the Executive Council (Taoiseach) for the three terms from 1932 to 1948, 1951 to 1954, and 1957 to 1959. He relinquished the premier’s position in his third term after his election to the presidency. Éamon de Valera was a stern, unbending, and decisive politician. Ireland experienced economic and cultural stagnation during Valera’s leadership. Éamon de Valera died in 1975 aged 92.
John A. Costello
John A. Costello was a legal advisor to the government of the Irish Free State and the attorney general from 1926 to 1932. He also served as Ireland’s Taoiseach for two terms from 1948 to 1951 and 1954 to 1957. In 1948, Costello declared the intention by the Irish to exit the British Commonwealth leading to Ireland becoming a republic. John A. Costello’s government had a lot of achievements including a record house building projects, development of industries, mother and child scheme, and advanced treatment of TB. However, rising prices and balance of payment crisis characterized his government leading to his defeat in 1951 and 1959. He retired from politics in 1969 and died in 1976.
Seán Lemass was a politician who was a Taoiseach from 1959 to 1966. He was a war veteran of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Civil War and was first elected as Teachta Dala in November 1924 by-election. Lemass served as the Minister of Industry and Commerce in almost all of the de Valera governments where he promoted state involvement in industry and led the country to economic recovery after the Great Depression. He also served as Minister for Supplies. Lemass was appointed Taoiseach on June 23, 1959, and quickly established control on the Fianna Fail party. He is credited for the smooth transition of power from the old generation to the new generation of politician. His government was characterized by economic expansion including industrialization and urbanization. Lemass died in 1971 aged 71.
Jack Lynch was initially appointed as an interim Taoiseach, but he had no intention of stepping aside. He retained the members of Lemass cabinet as part of his government and adopted a chairman-like approach allowing the ministers to run their departments. He continued with much of his predecessor’s projects. In 1968, Lynch attempted a referendum to change the voting system in the country. However, the referendum was rejected by the opposition parties. He managed to lead the country to join European Economic Community after a decade of preparation.
The Incumbent Taoiseach Of Ireland
Enda Kenny has been the Taoiseach since 2011. He is also a leader of Fine Gael who has served as Minister of Defense and Minister for Tourism and Trade. Some of his drastic measures include slashing his pay by 7% and also reducing the pay for government officials. He has also established sets of political reforms he had promised during the 2011 elections.
Taoiseach - Prime Minister Of Ireland
|Taoisigh of the Republic of Ireland||Term(s) in Office|
|Éamon de Valera||1937-1948; 1951-1954; 1957-1959|
|John A. Costello||1948-1951; 1954-1957|
|Jack Lynch||1966-1973; 1977-1979|
|Charles Haughey||1979-1981; March to December of 1982; 1987-1992|
|Garret FitzGerald||1981-1982; 1982-1987|
|Enda Kenny (Incumbent)||2011-Present|