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IRELAND

Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state with a parliamentary system of government. The president, who serves as chief of state in a largely ceremonial role, is elected for a 7-year term and can be re-elected only once. In carrying out certain constitutional powers and functions, the President is aided by the Council of State, an advisory body.

The bicameral Oireachtas consists of the Seanad Eireann (senate) and the Dail Eireann (house of representatives). The Seanad is composed of 60 members--11 nominated by the prime minister, six elected by the national universities, and 43 elected from panels of candidates established on a vocational basis. lected to a maximum 5-year term under a complex system of proportional representation.
CURRENT GOVERNMENT
President McAleese, Mary
Prime Minister Ahern, Bertie
Dep. Prime Min. Harney, Mary
Min. for Agriculture and Food Walsh, Joe
Min. for Arts, Sport, and Tourism O'Donoghue, John
Min. for Communications, Marine, and Natural Resources Ahern, Dermot
Min. for Community, Rural, and Gaeltacht Affairs O'Cuiv, Eamon
Min. for Defense Smith, Michael
Min. for Education and Science Dempsey, Noel
Min. for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Harney, Mary
Min. for Environment & Local Government Cullen, Martin
Min. for Finance McCreevy, Charlie
Min. for Foreign Affairs Cowen, Brian
Min. for Health & Children Martin, Micheal
Min. for Justice, Equality & Law Reform McDowell, Michael
Min. for Social & Family Affairs Coughlan, Mary
Min. for Transport Brennan, Seamus
Attorney General Brady, Rory
Governor, Central Bank of Ireland O'Connell, Maurice
Ambassador to the US Fahey, Noel
Permanent Representative to the UN, New York Ryan, Richard