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Ireland: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ireland
local long form: none
local short form: Eire
CapitalDublin Dublin
geographic coordinates: 53 19 N, 6 14 W
time difference: UTC 0 (5 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
daylight saving time: +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
Administrative divisions28 counties and 3 cities*; Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Cork*, Donegal, Dublin*, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Galway, Galway*, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, South Dublin, Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford, Wicklow
Constitutionprevious 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937; amended many times, last in 2013 (2013)
Executive branchchief of state: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 29 October 2011)
head of government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda KENNY (since 9 March 2011)
cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the president with previous nomination by the prime minister and approval of the lower house of Parliament
elections: president elected by popular vote for a seven-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 29 October 2011 (next to be held in October 2018); taoiseach (prime minister) nominated by the House of Representatives (Dail Eireann) and appointed by the president
election results: Michael D. HIGGINS elected president; percent of vote - Michael D. HIGGINS 39.6%, Sean GALLAGHER 28.5%, Martin MCGUINNESS 13.7%, Gay MITCHELL 6.4%, David NORRIS 6.2%, other 5.6%
Flag descriptionthree equal vertical bands of green (hoist side), white, and orange; officially the flag colors have no meaning, but a common interpretation is that the green represents the Irish nationalist (Gaelic) tradition of Ireland; orange represents the Orange tradition (minority supporters of William of Orange); white symbolizes peace (or a lasting truce) between the green and the orange
note: similar to the flag of Cote d'Ivoire, which is shorter and has the colors reversed - orange (hoist side), white, and green; also similar to the flag of Italy, which is shorter and has colors of green (hoist side), white, and red
Independence6 December 1921 (from the UK by treaty)
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court or Court of Final Appeal (consists of the chief justice and 7 judges)
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the prime minister and Cabinet and appointed by the president; judges serve till age 70
subordinate courts: High Court, Court of Criminal Appeal; circuit and district courts
Legal systemcommon law system based on the English model but substantially modified by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts in Supreme Court
Legislative branchbicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of the Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats; 49 members elected by the universities and from candidates put forward by five vocational panels, 11 are nominated by the prime minister; members serve five-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (166 seats; members elected by popular vote on the basis of proportional representation to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held in 27 April 2011 (next to be held 2016); House of Representatives - last held on 25 February 2011 (next to be held probably in 2016)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Fine Gael 19, Fianna Fail 14, Labor Party 12, Sinn Fein 3, independents 12; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Fine Gael 36.1%, Labor Party 19.5%, Fianna Fail 17.5%, Sinn Fein 9.9%, United Left Alliance 2.6%, independents and others 14.4%; seats by party - Fine Gael 76, Labor Party 37, Fianna Fail 20, Sinn Fein 14, United Left Alliance 5, independents 14
International organization participationADB (nonregional member), Australia Group, BIS, CD, CE, EAPC, EBRD, ECB, EIB, EMU, ESA, EU, FAO, FATF, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICRM, IDA, IEA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, IGAD (partners), IHO, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MONUSCO, NEA, NSG, OAS (observer), OECD, OPCW, OSCE, Paris Club, PCA, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNITAR, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
National holidaySaint Patrick's Day, 17 March
Political pressure groups and leadersFamilies Acting for Innocent Relatives or FAIR (Brian MCCONNELL) (seek compensation for victims of violence);
Iona Institute (David QUINN) (a conservative Catholic think tank);
Irish Anti-War Movement (Richard BOYD BARRETT) (campaigns against wars around the world);
Oglaigh na hEireann (terrorist group);
Continuity IRA (terrorist group);
New Irish Republican Army (terrorist group combining elements of the former Real IRA and Republican Action Against Drugs);
Keep Ireland Open (environmental group);
Midland Railway Action Group or MRAG (Willie ALLEN) (transportation promoters);
Peace and Neutrality Alliance (Roger COLE) (campaigns to protect Irish neutrality);
Rail Users Ireland (formerly the Platform 11 - transportation promoters);
32 Country Sovereignty Movement or 32CSM (supports unifying Northern Ireland with the rest of the island under Irish government sovereignty);
Political parties and leadersFianna Fail (Micheal MARTIN)
Fine Gael (Enda KENNY)
Green Party (Eamon RYAN)
Labor Party (Eamon GILMORE)
New Vision
Sinn Fein (Gerry ADAMS)
Socialist Party (Collective Leadership)
The Workers' Party (Michael FINNEGAN)
United Left Alliance
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Government typerepublic, parliamentary democracy
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Anne Colette ANDERSON (since 28 August 2013)
chancery: 2234 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: (1) (202) 462-3939
FAX: (1) (202) 232-5993
consulate(s) general: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco; note - Ireland will open a consulate general in Austin by the end of 2014
National anthemname: "Amhran na bhFiann" (The Soldier's Song)
lyrics/music: Peadar KEARNEY (English), Liam O RINN (Irish)/Patrick HEENEY and Peadar KEARNEY
note: adopted 1926; instead of "Amhran na bhFiann," the song "Ireland's Call" is often used in athletic events where citizens of the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete as a unified team
International law organization participationhas not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
National symbol(s)harp, shamrock (trefoil)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador (vacant); Charge d'Affaires Stuart DWYER (since 5 September 2013)
embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: (353) (1) 668-8777
FAX: (353) (1) 668-9946