This article is about the cabinet of the Republic of Ireland. For the government in Northern Ireland, see Northern Ireland Executive.

Coat of arms of Ireland

The Government of Ireland (Irish: Rialtas na hÉireann) is the cabinet that exercises executive authority in Ireland.


The President of Ireland is not a member of the government. The Constitution of Ireland does not make the President the nominal chief executive officer of the government, instead it explicitly vests executive authority in the cabinet. In addition, the President does not have discretion in appointing a Taoiseach; this is a constitutional obligation which must happen upon the nomination of the Taoiseach by the Dáil. A similar obligation exists for the appointment of members of the Government; they must be appointed upon nomination by the Taoiseach and approval by the Dáil.


The Government was created by the 1937 Constitution of Ireland; the Ministers and Secretaries Act, 1924 and amendments, contains the detailed provisions regarding status and functions of the Government in general. The Government was preceded by the Executive Council of the 1922–1937 Irish Free State.

All Governments since 1989 have been coalitions of two or more parties. The first coalition government was formed in 1948. The Taoiseach has always been a member of the largest party in the coalition. The Taoiseach has almost always been the leader of that party, with John A. Costello the only exception to this rule.

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