Ireland / Éire

The geographical island of Ireland consists of the sovereign independent state of Ireland comprising 26 counties, and the six counties of Northern Ireland to the north-east of the island, which are governed by a power-sharing Executive and Assembly as established under the Good Friday Agreement.

Government & Parliament:

Ireland is a parliamentary democracy.  Its law is based on Common Law and legislation enacted by the Oireachtas (Irish Parliament) under the Constitution.  In addition, regulations and directives enacted by the European Union have the force of law in Ireland.  The Constitution of Ireland (1937) sets out the form of government and defines the powers and functions of the President, both Houses of the Oireachtas and the Government. It also defines the structures and the powers of the Courts and outlines the fundamental rights of citizens.

The President is the Head of State, and is elected by direct vote.  There are fifteen Government Departments, each headed by a Minister. Executive power is exercised by or on the authority of the Government, which is responsible to the Dáil (House of Representatives). The Head of the Government is the Taoiseach (Prime Minister) while the Tánaiste is the Deputy Prime Minister. There are two Houses of Parliament, Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (Senate).

BIC Work Sector lead:

Misuse of Substances

Key Data:

Land Area: 70,280 sq km

Population: 4.6 million

Capital: Dublin

National Day: St Patrick’s Day, March 17.

Official Languages:

Article 8 of the Irish Constitution makes the following affirmation:

1 The Irish language, as the national language, is the first official language.

2 The English language is recognised as a second official language.