Houses of the Oireachtas - Find out about Ireland's Government and Initiatives
Ireland is a parliamentary democracy. The National Parliament (Oireachtas) consists of the President and two Houses: Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate) whose functions and powers derive from the Constitution of Ireland enacted by the People on 1st July, 1937.
The Houses of the Oireachtas are situated at Leinster House, Dublin.
The Constitution empowers each House to make its own Standing Orders (Rules) with power to attach penalties for their infringement.
The sole and exclusive power of making laws is vested in the Oireachtas subject to the obligations of Community membership as provided for in the Constitution.
The primacy of Dáil Éireann in regard to the life of the Parliament is recognised in that a general election to Seanad Éireann must take place not later than 90 days after the dissolution of the Dáil.
In matters of legislation the Constitution provides that Seanad Éireann cannot delay indefinitely the passage of legislation. Bills to amend the Constitution and Money Bills i.e. financial legislation, can only be initiated in Dáil Éireann.
Seanad Éireann can make recommendations (but not amendments) to Money Bills and these must be made within 21 days as against 90 days for non-Money Bills.
In addition to its legislative role, each House may examine and criticise Government policy and administration. However, Dáil Éireann is the House from which the Government (the Executive) is formed and to which it is responsible.
Should the Government fail to retain the support of the majority of the Members of Dáil Éireann, the result can either be the dissolution of the Dáil and a General Election or the formation of a successor Government.
Telephone: 00 353 (0) 1 618 3000
Telephone: 00 353 (0) 1 618 3166
Address: Leinster House, Dublin 2, Ireland.
Visit: Irish Parliament online at www.oireachtas.ie
Michael Ring TD is Minister of State, at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
Party: Fine Gael
Occupation: Full-time Public Representative
During the Coalition Government, December 1994-June 1997, Michael was a member of the following commi... Read Full Bio
Join Michael Ring, Minister of Tourism for Ireland, in exploring and discovering Ireland's Wild Atlantic Way, a 1500 mile coastal route with 159 marked tourist and historic sites and densely packed history and culture along the entire path.