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Inauguration and removal of the President

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Inauguration of the President

The candidate who has won the Irish presidential election becomes President of Ireland by publicly making the following oath. (This oath is set out in Bunreacht na hEireann - the Irish Constitution).

"In the presence of Almighty God I do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will maintain the Constitution of Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfill my duties faithfully and conscientiously in accordance with the Constitution and the law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Ireland. May God direct and sustain me".

The President is inaugurated in St Patrick's Hall in Dublin Castle and makes the declaration in the presence of members of both Houses of the Oireachtas (the Irish Parliament), the Judges of the Supreme Court and the High Court and other public persons.

A presidential election is not required in Ireland where only one candidate is nominated for the office of President. This happened in November, 2004 where the then President (Mrs. Mary McAleese) was the only candidate nominated for the office of President.

Removal of a President from office

There are two situations when a President may be removed from office. If five Supreme Court judges or more decide that a President has become permanently incapacitated, the President's term of office will come to an end.

The President may also be impeached by either House of the Oireachtas for "stated misbehaviour". Stated misbehaviour might include a criminal offence or a misuse of the President's powers.

Rules

Impeachment

To propose a motion to impeach the President, at least 30 members of one House of the Oireachtas must sign the proposal. Then at least two-thirds of all of the members of that House must vote in favour of the proposal.

The other House of the Oireachtas must then investigate the charge that the President is guilty of stated misbehaviour. The investigation may be carried out by a committee or tribunal. The President has a right to appear and be represented at the investigation of the charge.

At the end of the investigation, two-thirds of the members of the investigating House must pass a resolution declaring that the President is guilty of stated misbehaviour. The President's term of office will then come to an end.

This means that in order to remove the President, two-thirds of the total membership of both Houses of the Oireachtas must vote in favour of that course of action.

Page updated: 19 December 2011

Language

Gaeilge

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