The President and the Taoiseach
Elgie, Robert and Fitzgerald, Peter (2004) The President and the Taoiseach. In: Coakley, John and Gallagher, Michael, (eds.) Politics in the Republic of Ireland. Routledge, London, UK, pp. 305-327. ISBN 978-0-415-28067-9
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As we have seen in chapter 3, political life of the Republic of Ireland is overshadowed by two figures: the President of Ireland, who is the head of state and a mainly symbolic figure, and the Taoiseach, who is the head of government and is responsible for political leadership. This chapter explores the foundations of executive power in the Republic. It begins by assessing the role of the President. Why is the presidency such a weak institution and should the office be reformed or even abolished? It then considers the dominant position of the Taoiseach. What resources can the Taoiseach mobilise and what obstacles are placed in the way of individualised political leadership?
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