Role of the Irish President

The Irish President is elected by the Irish public and serves a seven year term in office once appointed. In order to be considered a candidate, a person must be over the age of thirty five and they must be nominated by no less than twenty members of Dáil or Seanad Éireann, or no less than four administrative counties (including County Boroughs). Many of the Presidential powers can only be exercised once there has been agreement and advice from the Irish government.

  • Some of the Presidential responsibilities are:
  • Appointing members of government, judges and other officials
  • Summoning and dissolving the Dáil
  • Convening the Oireachtas
  • Representing the people
  • Signing Bills and referring Bills to the Supreme Court
  • Acting as Supreme Commander of The Defence Forces    


Michael D. Higgins

Michael D Higgins is Ireland’s ninth President and was inaugurated on 11 November 2011. He was 18 April 1941 in Limerick City and was raised in County Clare. He has four children with his wife Sabina Higgins. Michael D, as he is affectionately known, has been a dedicated advocate of human rights in Ireland as well as places like Nicaragua and Chile to Cambodia, Iraq and Somalia. He is also interested in promoting inclusive citizenship in Ireland and supporting creativity and the arts within Irish society. Political leader, sociologist, poet, author and broadcaster can also be added to his impressive repertoire.

From humble beginnings as a factory worker, Michael was the first one in his family to obtain a third level education and studied at the University College Galway, the University of Manchester, and the University of Indiana. He was a lecturer in Political Science and Sociology at National University of Galway before becoming a public representative where he held a number of positions ranging from Councillor to Mayor. In his political career Michael D Higgins has held a number of appointments, serving as a Member of Dáil Éireann for twenty five years, Member of Seanad Éireann for nine years and was Ireland's first Cabinet Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht 1993-97.