The President of the Republic of Ireland is the title given to the head of state and partial head of government in Ireland, a position with broad executive but limited legislative power. The President is recognized as the head of state in both practical and ceremonial fashions, and formally invites the elective Taioseach from the Dail to form a government, similarly to the President of England, although the Irish President is fully empowered to arrange an executive Cabinet that is approved by the Dail and appoint judges, similarly to the American model. The President of Ireland has traditionally been viewed as the commander-in-chief of the Irish military, a role fortified by Michael Collins during the Irish War and cemented into law during the 1982 Constitutional Reforms.

The President of Ireland was, until 1985, elected largely at the whim of the Dail, where the President had the ability to call elections but whose authority was derived exclusively from the Dail itself, leading often to bizarre power grabs and volatilety both in the office of President and in the office of the Taoiseach. In 1982, the Presidency was separated completely from the Dail, making it a separate executive position directly elected by popular vote. The first Presidential election under this constitution was set for 1985, with elections to follow every six years. The President is limited to two six-year terms, which can be held consecutively or non-consecutively. The current President of Ireland is Mary McAleese.

Presidents of the First Irish Republic

Presidents of the Republic of Ireland (Second Republic)

Name Picture Took office Left office Political Party Notes
Sam Smeadon
Michael Collins 1932 1941 Conservative
Eamon de Valera 1941 1948 Nationalist Second term
Aidan Bair 1948 1957 Christian Democrat
Michael O'Shay 1957 October 8, 1962 Labour Assassinated
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh October 10, 1962 February 4, 1970 Civil Front First term
Jack Lynch February 4, 1970 April 28, 1971 Labour First term
Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh July 10, 1971 March 16, 1972 Civil Front Second term, impeached and dismissed from office
Timothy Hainneach March 16, 1972 May 18, 1973 Civil Front Assassinated
Liam Cosgrave May 18, 1973 September 18, 1976 Labour First term
Patrick Hillery September 18, 1976 March 2, 1979 Labour Assassinated
Jack Lynch March 2, 1979 October 3, 1982 Labour Second term
Liam Cosgrave October 3, 1982 August 1, 1985 Labour Second term
Albert Reynolds AlbertReynolds August 1, 1985 August 1, 1991 Conservative
John Bruton August 1, 1991 August 1, 1997 Labour
Bertie Ahern August 1, 1997 August 1, 2003 Labour
Mary McAleese MaryMcAleese August 1, 2003 incumbent Conservative First woman officeholder

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