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The head of government and leader of the cabinet in Ireland is titled An Taoiseach (IPA: [t̪ˠiːʃʲəx], phonetic: TEE-shock — plural: Taoisigh ([t̪ˠiːʃʲɪj] or [t̪ˠiːʃʲɪɟ]), an Irish language term translating as "the leader". The Taoiseach is appointed by the President upon the nomination of Dáil Éireann, and must, while he or she remains in office, enjoy the confidence of the Dáil. The position was created under the 1937 Constitution of Ireland, replacing the President of the Executive Council.

The Taoiseach is one of three government positions that must come from the membership of Dáil Éireann. The Taoiseach has an almost identical job description as the British Prime Minister.


The Taoiseach nominates up to fourteen other ministers, and has the power to ask for the resignation of ministers. He also appoints eleven members to Seanad Éireann.

List of Taoisigh

No. Name Took Office Left Office Party
1.Éamon de Valera December 29, 1937 18 February, 1948 Fianna Fáil
2.John A. Costello February 18, 1948 June 13, 1951 Fine Gael
Éamon de Valera (2nd time) June 13, 1951 June 2, 1954 Fianna Fáil
John A. Costello (2nd time) June 2, 1954 March 20, 1957 Fine Gael
Éamon de Valera (3rd time) March 20, 1957 June 23, 1959 Fianna Fáil
3.Sean Lemass June 23, 1959 November 10, 1966 Fianna Fáil
4.Jack Lynch November 10, 1966 March 14, 1973 Fianna Fáil
5.Liam Cosgrave March 14, 1973 July 5, 1977 Fine Gael
Jack Lynch (2nd time) July 5, 1977 December 11, 1979 Fianna Fáil
6.Charles J. Haughey December 11, 1979 June 30, 1981 Fianna Fáil
7.Garret FitzGerald June 30, 1981 March 9, 1982 Fine Gael
Charles J. Haughey (2nd time) March 9, 1982 December 14, 1982 Fianna Fáil
Garret FitzGerald (2nd time) December 14, 1982 March 10, 1987 Fine Gael
Charles J. Haughey (3rd time) March 10, 1987 February 11, 1992 Fianna Fáil
8.Albert Reynolds February 11, 1992 December 15, 1994 Fianna Fáil
9.John Bruton December 15, 1994 June 26, 1997 Fine Gael
10.Bertie Ahern June 26, 1997 May 6, 2008 Fianna Fáil
10.Brian Cowen May 7, 2008 incumbent Fianna Fáil