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List of Prime Ministers of Ireland

Note: The twenty-six county Irish state underwent numerous changes in nomenclature. This list includes all prime ministers or heads of government of the 26 county state under each of its nomenclatures. Note some of the early offices overlapped, as different elements claimed that their state institutions were the real government of Ireland. The party or parties in government is stated in brackets. In the case of coalitions, the prime minister's party is stated first.

This list only refers to prime ministers of the twenty-six county states in Ireland, not Northern Ireland, for which there is a different list.

Table of contents

THE IRISH REPUBLIC

The Irish Republic was unilaterally declared by the First Dáil in January 1919. It ceased to exist with the coming into being of the Irish Free State in 1922.

Office name: Príomh Áire/President of Dáil Éireann

In August 1921, the Dáil Constitution was amended to replace the previous office by a new head of state called 'President of the Republic' who also was head of government.

SOUTHERN IRELAND

The state of Southern Ireland was created by the British Government of Ireland Act, 1921. Its government came into being in reality as a result of the Anglo-Irish Treaty, 1921. It existed as a provisional state until the coming into existence of the Irish Free State in December 1922.

Office name: Chairman of the Provisional Government (also sometimes called 'President of the Provisional Government' or 'Provisional Prime Minister')

IRISH FREE STATE

Office name: President of the Executive Council

  • W.T. Cosgrave (1922-1932) (Cumann na nGaedhael)
  • Eamon de Valera (1932-1937) (Fianna Fáil)

ÉIRE (known as the REPUBLIC OF IRELAND after 1949)

Office name: Taoiseach

  • Eamon de Valera (1937-1948) (Fianna Fáil)
  • John A. Costello (1948-1951) (Fine Gael Labour Clann na Poblachta and others)
  • Eamon de Valera (1951-1954) (Fianna Fáil)
  • John A. Costello (1954-1957) (Fine Gael Labour)
  • Eamon de Valera (1957-1959) (Fianna Fáil)
  • Sean Lemass (1959-1966) (Fianna Fáil)
  • Jack Lynch (1966-1973) (Fianna Fáil)
  • Liam Cosgrave (1973-1977) (Fine Gael Labour)
  • Jack Lynch (1977-1979) (Fianna Fáil)
  • Charles J. Haughey (1979-1981) (Fianna Fáil)
  • Garret FitzGerald (1981-82) (Fine Gael Labour)
  • Charles J. Haughey (February-December 1982) (Fianna Fáil)
  • Garret FitzGerald (1982-1987) (Fine Gael Labour)
  • Garret FitzGerald (1987) (Fine Gael)1
  • Charles J. Haughey (1987-1989) (Fianna Fáil)
  • Charles J. Haughey (1989-1992) (Fianna Fáil Progressive Democrats)
  • Albert Reynolds (1992) (Fianna Fáil Progressive Democrats)
  • Albert Reynolds (1992-1994) (Fianna Fáil Labour)
  • John Bruton (1994-1997) (Fine Gael Labour Democratic Left)
  • Bertie Ahern (1997-present) (Fianna Fáil Progressive Democrats)

footnote

1 A short-lived Fine Gael minority government existed following the resignation of Labour ministers from cabinet until the holding of a general election some weeks later.



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