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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|
|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||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||August 1, 2003||incumbent||Conservative||First woman officeholder|