Also: Éire.
Officially: Republic of Ireland; Poblacht na hÉireann.
Seat of government: Dublin.
Status: Democratic.
Structure: The parliament (Oireachtas) comprises the Dáil, elected in multi-member geographical constituencies with limited proportional representation, which chooses the government, led by the taoiseach, and the Seanad, chosen by selected officials and functional constituencies.
Governing parties: Fianna Fáil; Fine Gael; Green Party.
Heads of government: Micheál Martin, FF, taoiseach (since 2020); Leo Varadkar, FG, tánaiste (since 2020; taoiseach 2017-20).
Other parliamentary parties: Sinn Féin, led by Mary Lou McDonald; Labour Party, led by Alan Kelly; Social Democrats, led by Catherine Murphy and Róisín Shortall; People Before Profit/Solidarity; Aontú; Right to Change.
Ceremonial head of state: Michael Higgins, president.
Assessment: Working with Britain to settle the question of self-determination for the people of Ulster. A 2007 general election returned Fianna Fáil as the largest party; the Green Party was added as a coalition partner due to a loss of support for the Progressive Democrats, who disbanded in 2009. Taoiseach Bertie Ahern (1997-2008) announced his resignation in 2008 following persistent corruption allegations; his successor was Brian Cowen (2008-11). A general election in 2011 saw a massive loss of strength by Fianna Fáil and the complete loss of seats for the Greens, with Fine Gael finishing first and entering into government with Labour, under FG’s Enda Kenny (2011-7). An election in 2016 gave Fine Gael a small plurality, but with a collapse in the vote for both Fine Gael and Labour; FG formed a minority government with Fianna Fáil’s conditional support, under Varadkar (2017-20). A surge in support in the 2020 elections gave Sinn Féin the largest popular vote, but FF won a slight plurality of seats, and formed a coalition with Fine Gael and the Greens.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 9.01 (12), full democracy.
Updated: 2021 June 19.