The Executive Council was the cabinet and de facto executive branch of government of the 1922–1937 Irish Free State. Formally, the role of the Executive Council was to "aid and advise" the Governor-General who would exercise the executive authority on behalf of the King. In practice, however, it was the Council that governed, since the Governor-General was (with few exceptions) bound to act on its advice. The Executive Council included a prime minister called the President of the Executive Council and a deputy prime minister called the Vice-President.
The Executive Council was established with the coming into force of the Free State constitution in 1922. It replaced two previous cabinets, the Aireacht of the Irish Republic and the Provisional Government.
As a result of the Constitution (Amendment No. 27) Act 1936, the office of Governor General was abolished. For the remaining months of the Irish Free State the executive authority and a number of the Governor General's other functions were exercised by the Executive Council directly, but in practice this change was merely symbolic. The Executive Council itself was replaced in the 1937 by a new cabinet, called simply the 'Government', established under the new Constitution of Ireland.
List of Executive CouncilsEdit
- Main article: List of Executive Councils
|Heads of government of Ireland (1919–1939}|
|President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State (1922–1937)||W. T. Cosgrave | Éamon de Valera|
|Chairman of the Provisional Government (1922)||Michael Collins | W. T. Cosgrave|
|President of the Irish Republic (1921–1922)||Éamon de Valera | Arthur Griffith|
|President of Dáil Éireann(1919–1921)||Cathal Brugha | Éamon de Valera|