Authority in Ireland is divided between the Legislature (the Oireachtas), the Executive (the Government) and the Judiciary (the courts). Our Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann, provides for a separation of these powers, so none of the three organs of State can interfere with the functions of the other two.
The Oireachtas is the only body that has the power to make laws. The Oireachtas consists of a bicameral chamber and the President of Ireland. “Bicameral” means it comprises two Houses, a Lower House, Dáil Éireann, and an Upper House, Seanad Éireann. The Constitution states that the Government must answer to Dáil Éireann.
The Dáil must be dissolved and a general election held at least every five years. A Seanad election takes place up to 90 days after Dáil Éireann has dissolved. Find out how the Irish people choose the Members of the Oireachtas.
Last updated: 2 October 2020