FAQ

What year was Dara Calleary born?

10th of May 1973

Where is Dara Calleary from?
Dara Calleary was born and lives in Ballina, Co Mayo.

Where was Dara Calleary educated?
St. Oliver Plunkett’s National School and St. Muredach’s College in Ballina

Where did Dara Calleary go to college?
Trinity College Dublin

What did Dara Calleary study?
BA Business and Politics

What does Dara Calleary do in his spare time?
He is a member of the Ballina Stephenites GAA Club and a keen supporter of the Mayo Gaelic football team and local club teams. He is also a member of Ballina Rugby Club.

When did Dara Calleary first get involved in politics?
In the 1980s when he joined Ógra Fianna Fáil.

When was Dara Calleary appointed Minister for Labour Affairs?
April 22nd 2009

Where is the Dáil located?
Leinster House, Dublin 2.

What do TDs do?
They represent and work on behalf of the electors in their constituency. TDs can draft amendments and examine proposals for new legislation. TDs have the authority to contribute in debates about legislation and other matters that arise. They vote on important matters in the House, they attend Question Time and they partake in committee work. TDs make written or oral representatives to ministers or government departments on behalf of their constituencies.

Taoiseach’s Department
The Constitution of 1937 came in to operation on the 29th of December 1937. The Department of the President of the Executive Council became the Department of the Taoiseach.

Who is the Taoiseach?
Mr Enda Kenny T.D. is the Taoiseach in Ireland and he is the Head of the Government. He is Party Leader, Government Chairman and Chief Policy Maker. Mary McAlese, the President of Ireland appointed the Taoiseach.

What does the Taoiseach do?
As Head of Government, the Taoiseach co-ordinates the work of all Government Departments. He chairs Government Meetings, directs their Agenda and business. The Taoiseach is equivalent of a prime minister. If the Taoiseach loses support of a majority in Dáil Éireann he is not automatically removed but is obliged to resign or to persuade the President to dissolve the Dáil.

The Taoiseach is the Chief Policy Maker for the Government. Bills that are passed by the Dáil and Seanad are presented to the President to sign in order for them to become law.

The Taoiseach always liases with the President and keeps her informed on international and domestic policy matters. The Taoiseach nominates the Attorney General who the President then appoints. Also the Taoiseach nominates Government Ministers (also known as the Cabinet) and the Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) from Government. The Taoiseach has the power and authority to request the resignation of Ministers. He nominates the Ministers of State (Junior Ministers), for approval by Government. The Taoiseach has further responsibility in electing eleven members of the Seanad, the Clerks, the Clerks Assistants of the Dáil and Seanad, the Superintendent and the Captain of the Guards for the Houses of the Oireachtas. To be a Taoiseach, Tánaiste or Minister for Finance you must be a member of the Dáil.

What does the word Taoiseach mean?
Taoiseach means Chieftain or Leader.

How do you pronounce Taoiseach?
Phonetically the word is pronounced, “tee shock,” Taoisigh is pronounced as “teeshe”.

How many Taoisigh has Ireland had?
At different times in the past the Head of the Irish Government had different titles. Below is a list of the Heads of the Irish Government since it came into being in 1919.

Cathal Brugha: January 1919 – April 1919
Eamon de Valera: April 1919 – August 1921
Arthur Griffith: January 1921 – September 1922
Michael Collins: January 1922 – August 1922
W.T. Cosgrave: August 1922 – March 1932
Eamon de Valera: March 1932 – February 1948
John A. Costello: February 1948 – June 1951
Eamon de Valera: June 1951 – June 1954
John A. Costello: June 1954 – March 1957
Eamon de Valera: March 1957 – June 1959
Sean F. Lemass: June 1959 – Nov 1966
Jack Lynch: November 1966 – March 1973
Liam Cosgrave: March 1973 – June 1977
Jack Lynch: July 1977 – December 1979
Charles J. Haughey: December 1979 – June 1981
Garret Fitzgerald: June 1981 – January 1982
Charles J. Haughey: March 1982 – December 1982
Garret Fitzgerald: December1982 – March 1987
Charles J. Haughey: March 1987 – February 1992
Albert Reynolds: February 1992 – December 1994
John Bruton: December 1994 – June 1997
Bertie Ahern: June 1997 – May 2008
Brian Cowen: May 2008 to February 2011

Enda Kenny: February 2011 – present

Following the termination of a Dáil, the Taoiseach remains in office until the new Dáil get together and appoint a new Government.

If anything happened to the Taoiseach who would run the country?
The Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) would take over from the Taoiseach if he were to die or become incapacitated.

What are Parliamentary Questions?
Article 28.4.1 of the Constitution, states that the Government shall be responsible to Dáil Éireann. One of the procedures of the Dáil is to have members of Government report on the management of their Department by way of reply to Parliamentary Questions (PQs). Members of the Dáil can ask questions to any Minister of Government. Questions are directed to the Minister with functional responsibility for the matter at issue.

PQs can be a written or oral question. The Taoiseach answers Oral PQs in the Dáil on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s. All other Ministers answer Oral PQs once every 6 weeks. Replies to written PQs are supplied to the Deputies through the General Office in Leinster House.

The Taoiseach answers PQs relating to the activities of his Department and about his own schedule and activities (e.g. meetings with Heads of State, issues concerning Northern Ireland, EU and the President.)

What is the Cabinet?
The Government is referred to as the Cabinet. There are seven to fifteen members allowed in the cabinet. Detail discussed in Cabinet Meetings is confidential unless the High Court determines otherwise.

What is the Oireachtas?
The Oireachtas is Ireland’s national parliament. It consists of the President, Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann. Nobody is allowed to be a member of both Houses at the same time. The public can see the sitting of each house unless there is an emergency meeting when they are in private.

What is the Dáil?
Dáil Éireann (House of Representatives) normally meets on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursday, it can also have special sitting day. The work of the Dáil is dealing with debating social, economic, financial and budgetary matters. Its member’s draft, amend, vote and examine proposals for new legislation. The members debate bills and issues that are important for the welfare of the country. The members in the Dáil are called Teactaí Dála (plural) and Teachta Dála, (singular), T.D.s for short. To date the Dáil has166 members. The Chairman of the Dáil is called the Ceann Comhairle and the Deputy Chairman is the Leas-Ceann Comhairle.

What is the Seanad?
Seanad Éireann (Senate) normally meets twice a week on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The main business is revising legislation sent to it by Dáil Éireann. The Seanad cannot initiate financial legislation but it can make recommendations to money bills. The Seanad has sixty members; 11 are nominated by the Taoiseach, 43 are elected by panels representing Culture and Education, Agriculture, Labour, Industry and Commerce and Public Administration, the rest of the members are elected by graduates of the National University of Ireland and by the University of Dublin. The members are called Seanadóirí (plural) and Senadóir (singular). The Chairman of the Seanad is called the Cathaoirleach. At the same time only two senators may be ministers in the Government. To date the Senate has three standing committees, one of these has two sub-committees.

What is the Constitution?
Bunreacht na hÉireann (Constitution of Ireland), is the highest law of the country. It can only be changed with the vote of Irish citizens (aged eighteen and over) in a Referendum. When changes are made to the Constitution they are called Amendments. The Constitution was passed by the people of Ireland in a Referendum on the1st of July 1937. The Constitution has 50 articles and it covers a wide range of subjects including the establishment of the State, the colours of the Flag, the rules governing the Office of the President etc.