Functions of the President


The President is the Head of State, although they play a mainly ceremonial role in the running of the State. The current President of Ireland is Michael D. Higgins, who commenced his first term on 11 November 2011.

The Government must approve all Presidential communications, messages or addresses, both to the Oireachtas and to the public.

Many of the powers of the President can only be exercised on the advice of the Government. This means that if the President wishes to exercise a power, they must first obtain the advice and agreement of the Government.

The President also possesses some powers that they cannot exercise without first consulting with the Council of State.

The President's powers include

Appointing members of the Government, judges and other officials

Summoning and dissolving the Dáil

Convening the Oireachtas

Representing the people

Signing Bills and referring Bills to the Supreme Court

Acting as Supreme Commander of the Defence Forces

Page edited: 17 May 2016