has been a republic since 1949 with a bicameral
legislature. The lower house, the Dáil,
has 166 members and is elected directly by universal adult suffrage
every 5 years. The 60-strong Senate has 49 directly elected members
with the balance made up of political appointees.
The Executive power is held by the Taioseach (Prime Minister)
who presides over a Cabinet of Ministers. The cabinet is responsible
to the Dáil for its actions.