The Taoiseach (pronounced /ˈtiːʃəx/ in English;[1] IPA: [t̪ˠiːʃʲəx] (plural Taoisigh ([t̪ˠiːʃʲɪj] or [t̪ˠiːʃʲɪɟ]) in Irish), also referred to as An Taoiseach ([ən t̪ˠiːʃʲəx]),[2] is the head of the government in Ireland. The term prime minister is not used by the Irish media.[3]


When a new Dáil Éireann meets after an election it nominates one of its members to be Taoiseach. He then visits the President, and is appointed. He then presents a list of ministers to the Dáil and when this is approved they are also appointed by the President.

If the Taoiseach resigns all members of the government are said to have resigned as well. If a minister does not resign when asked by the Taoiseach, the Taoiseach can ask the President to sack the minister. The President cannot refuse to do this.[4]

Department of the Taoiseach

The Department of the Taoiseach helps the Taoiseach to do his job. The main duty of the Taoiseach is to start policy and coordinate policy of the rest of government. Especially policies on Economic and Social Development, Northern Ireland, the European Union and Public Sector Change and Oireachtas Reform.

The Government Chief Whip, who has to make sure the government's policies and ideas are turned into law, is a part of the Taoiseach's department.

The current Taoiseach is Leo Varadkar since 14 June 2017.


  1. Oxford English Dictionary
  2. Keeping the Irish definite article an /ən/ instead of English the.
  3. "BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN". Article 28.5.1 The head of the Government, or Prime Minister, shall be called, and is in this Constitution referred to as, the Taoiseach.
  4. "BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN". Article 28.9.4. The Taoiseach may at any time, for reasons which to him seem sufficient, request a member of the Government to resign; should the member concerned fail to comply with the request, his appointment shall be terminated by the President if the Taoiseach so advises.