IRELAND
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: Fine Gael; Labour Party.
Heads of government: Enda Kenny, FG, taoiseach; Joan Burton, Labour, tánaiste.
Other parliamentary parties: Fianna Fáil, led by Micheál Martin; Sinn Fein, led by Gerry Adams; Anti-Austerity Alliance – People Before Profit; Independents 4 Change; Social Democrats; Green Party.
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, in office since 1997, announced his resignation in 2008 following persistent corruption allegations; his successor was Brian Cowen. 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. An election in 2016 gave Fine Gael a small plurality, but with a collapse in the vote for both Fine Gael and Labour, a new government is expected.
FH: 1-1, free. Econ: 9.01 (12), full democracy.
Updated: 2016 March 30.
 

O.T. FORD