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Saturday, May 13, 2006

Irish President Visiting U.S.

Irish President Mary McAleese will visit the US from May 15-22. The head of state’s itinerary, approved by the Taoiseach and Government, will be concentrate on Montana, Colorado and Indiana.

The President will be the principal speaker and the recipient of an honorary doctor of laws degree at the University of Notre Dame on May 21. This is an honour also received by former Taoiseach Albert Reynolds in 1994.
The president will also visit the Butte region of Montana where emigrants from Co Cork’s Beara Peninsula emigrated to work in the copper mines in late 1800s
The role of the President of Ireland is somewhat different to the role of President in the US, being closer to the role of the monarch in the British system of government.

The Office of President was established by The Constitution (Bunreacht na h Éireann) in 1937. The President is elected directly by the people. The term of office is 7 years and a President may not serve more than 2 terms. The President must reside in or near Dublin.

The formal powers and functions of the President are prescribed in the Constitution. The President, who does not have an executive or policy role, exercises them on the advice of the Government.

The Oireachtas is the sole legislative authority of the State and comprises the President, and the Houses of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann. Bills enacted by Houses of the Oireachtas are signed into law by the President.

Mary McAleese is the eight holder of the office, and my favourite.


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