Houses of the Oireachtas – A Parliament for the People


What is the Oireachtas?

Ireland is a parliamentary democracy, – a form of representative government where voters elect the parliament, which then forms the government. The party with the most votes elects the leader of the government. The Oireachtas is the National Parliament of Ireland. It comprises:

  • The President
  • Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives)
  • Seanad Éireann (the Senate)

For our laws to come into effect each Bill must be passed by both Houses and signed into law by the President

Houses of the Oireachtas 2

Leinster House – the Seat of Power

The History of the House


The house was originally known as Kildare House after James Fitzgerald, the Earl of Kildare, who commissioned it to be built between 1745-47.  Fitzgerald set out to create the stateliest of Dublin Georgian Mansions to reflect his eminent position in Irish society. On becoming the Duke of Leinster in 1776, the house was renamed Leinster House.

FitzGerald later sold the House to the Royal Dublin Society, however, after the establishment of the Irish Free State in 1922, the Government secured a part of Leinster House for parliamentary use. The entire building was acquired by the State in 1924.

Today, Leinster House is the seat of the two Houses of the Oireachtas (National Parliament), comprising Dáil Éireann (the House of Representatives) and Seanad Éireann (the Senate).

Oireachtas TV – See For Yourself

 Oireachtas television is available throughout Ireland on the following channels:

  • Saorview Channel 22
  • Virgin Media Channel 207
  • Sky Channel 574
  • eir Vision Channel 504
  • Vodafone Channels: Oireachtas TV – 201, Dáil – 207 and Seanad – 208

Oireachtas TV is relaying the business of our national parliament to over 1.1 million homes across Ireland, delivering unprecedented public access to the work of the Dáil, Seanad and Committees.  Over 98% of all households can receive Oireachtas TV giving a direct insight into the work of our Parliament.

Can I visit Leinster House?

The Houses of the Oireachtas provides 30-minute guided tours of Leinster House throughout the year FREE of charge. There are two types of visits:

  • Visits sponsored by a TD or Senator
  • Walk-up tours for people living in the State or visitors to Ireland

To book a tour, contact or (01) 618 3271 / 3781. Visit for more information.

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Senior Times also publishes Senior Times magazine and are organisers of the 50 Plus Expo’s in Dublin, Cork, Galway and Killarney.

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