Ireland elects its own President, who can run for a maximum of seven years at a time.
No President can be in power for longer than two terms, making fourteen years the absolute maximum that any one person can run the country.
Since 2011, the President of Ireland has been Limerick-born Michael D. Higgins. He was the leader of the Labour Party in Ireland for eight years before he was elected as the President.
The History of Irish Presidents
Ireland has had a President since the end of 1937, and a total of nine leaders have taken over the role since then.
The first President was Douglas Hyde, an Irish scholar who was considered to be very influential in Ireland during his time. He served for a total of seven years, before Sean T. O’Kelly took his place in 1945.
Ireland has had two female Presidents, both who were called Mary.
The first, Mary Robinson, became President in 1990 and stayed in power for seven years. She was superseded by Mary McAleese, who was surprisingly born in Belfast, Northern Ireland. McAleese remained President of Ireland for fourteen years, before the current Michael D. Higgins was elected.
Who Could Be the Next Irish President?
Although Michael D. Higgins has another three years before any decisions are made regarding the next President of Ireland, there is already much speculation about who could be taking his place in the near future.
Mairead McGuinness is a Member of the European Parliament and a member of Fine Gael, an Irish political party.
According to Paddy Power, she is the favourite to take over from Higgins when the time comes. With odds of 6/1, this University College Dublin graduate could see herself taking Ireland’s top spot too.
Fergus Finlay comes closely behind McGuinness, and is a very influential character in the small country of Ireland. Not only does he write regularly for the Irish Examiner, but he has also been a member of the Labour Party for a long time.
Along with Martin McGuinness, who has odds of 10/1 on Paddy Power, Fergus Finlay had hoped to be elected in 2011.
However, since Michael D. Higgins won the people’s vote that time around, perhaps either of these politicians will be successful in the next election.
Finally has odds of 7/1, and is the current executive of Barnardo’s, a popular charity which helps children in need.
Also featured on Paddy Power’s list of potential future Irish Presidents is Bono, a popular singer-songwriter from Dublin. With an extensive musical background and little political experience, it’s no wonder that he’s towards the bottom of the list with 100/1.
Betting on the Next President of Ireland
Those wishing to try their luck at guessing who the next Irish President could be can do so until December 28th 2015.
The betting closes at 10pm, and bets placed will only apply to the successor of Michael D. Higgins.