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Ireland: Government#

Country nameconventional long form: none
conventional short form: Ireland
local long form: none
local short form: Eire
etymology: the modern Irish name "Eire" evolved from the Gaelic "Eriu," the name of the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land); the names "Ireland" in English and "Eire" in Irish are direct translations of each other
Government typeparliamentary republic
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
Independence6 December 1921 (from the UK by treaty)
National holidaySaint Patrick's Day, 17 March
Constitutionhistory: previous 1922; latest drafted 14 June 1937, adopted by plebiscite 1 July 1937, effective 29 December 1937
amendments: proposed as bills in Parliament; passage requires majority vote by both the Senate and House of Representatives, majority vote in a referendum, and presidental signature; amended many times, last in 2015 (2016)
Legal systemcommon law system based on the English model but substantially modified by customary law; judicial review of legislative acts by Supreme Court
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: yes
citizenship by descent: yes
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 4 of the previous 8 years
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Michael D. HIGGINS (since 11 November 2011)
head of government: Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda KENNY (since 9 March 2011); reelected prime minister on 6 May 2016
cabinet: Cabinet nominated by the prime minister, appointed by the president, approved by the Dali Eireann (lower house of Parliament)
elections/appointments: president directly elected by majority popular vote for a 7-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), appointed by the president
election results: Michael D. HIGGINS elected president; percent of vote - Michael D. HIGGINS (Labor Party) 39.6%, Sean GALLAGHER (independent) 28.5%, Martin MCGUINNESS (Sinn Fein) 13.7%, Gay MITCHELL (Fine Gael) 6.4%, David NORRIS (independent) 6.2%, other 5.6%
Legislative branchdescription: bicameral Parliament or Oireachtas consists of the Senate or Seanad Eireann (60 seats; 43 members indirectly elected by panels of various vocational interests, 11 appointed by the prime minister, and 6 elected by graduates of the University of Dublin and the National University of Ireland; members serve 5-year terms) and the House of Representatives or Dail Eireann (158 seats; members directly elected in multi-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: Senate - last held in April and May 2016 (next to be held no later than 2021); House of Representatives - last held on 26 February 2016 (next to be held no later than 2021)
election results: Senate - percent of vote by party - NA; seats by party - Fine Gael 19, Fianna Fail 14, Sinn Fein 7, Labor Party 5, Sinn Fein 3, Green Party 1, independent 14; House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - Fine Gael 25.5%, Fianna Fail 24.4%, Sinn Fein 13.8%, Labor Party 6.6%, AAA-PBD 4.0%, Social Democrats 3.0%, Green Party 2.7%, Renua Ireland 2.2% independents 17.8%; seats by party - Fine Gael 50, Fianna Fail 44, Sinn Fein 23, Labor Party 7, AAA-PBP 6, Social Democrats 3, Green Party 2, independent 23
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court of Ireland (consists of the chief justice, 9 judges, 2 ex-officio members - the presidents of the High Court and Court of Appeal - and organized in 3-, 5-, or 7-judge panels, depending on the importance or complexity of an issue of law)
judge selection and term of office: judges nominated by the prime minister and Cabinet and appointed by the president; chief justice serves in the position for 7 years; judges can serve until age 70
subordinate courts: High Court, Court of Appeal; circuit and district courts; criminal courts
Political parties and leadersAnti-Austerity Alliance-People Before Profit or AAA-PBP (collective leadership)
Fianna Fail (Micheal MARTIN)
Fine Gael (Enda KENNY)
Green Party (Eamon RYAN)
Labor (Labour) Party (Brendan HOWLIN)
Renua Ireland (John LEAHY)
Sinn Fein (Gerry ADAMS)
Social Democratic Party (Stephen DONNELLY, Catherine MURPHY, Roisin SHORTALL)
Socialist Party (collective leadership)
The Workers' Party (Michael DONNELLY)
Political pressure groups and leadersContinuity IRA (terrorist group)
Families 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)
Keep Ireland Open (environmental group)
Oglaigh na hEireann (terrorist group)
Midland Railway Action Group or MRAG (Willie ALLEN) (transportation promoters)
New Irish Republican Army (terrorist group combining elements of the former Real IRA and Republican Action Against Drugs)
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)
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), ICCt, 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, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNHCR, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNOCI, UNRWA, UNTSO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO, ZC
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, Austin (TX), Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Kevin F. O'MALLEY (since 8 October 2014)
embassy: 42 Elgin Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: (353) (1) 668-8777
FAX: (353) (1) 668-9946
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
National symbol(s)harp, shamrock (trefoil); national colors: blue, green
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 at athletic events where citizens of Ireland and Northern Ireland compete as a unified team