Jump to content

Teachta Dála

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A Teachta Dála ( /ˌtjɒxtə ˈdɔːlə/ TYOKH-tə DAW-lə, Irish: [ˌtʲaxt̪ˠə ˈd̪ˠaːlˠa] ;[1] plural Teachtaí Dála), abbreviated as TD (plural TDanna in Irish,[2] TDs in English), is a member of Dáil Éireann, the lower house of the Oireachtas (the Irish Parliament). It is the equivalent of terms such as Member of Parliament (MP) or Member of Congress used in other countries. The official translation of the term is "Deputy to the Dáil",[3] although a more literal translation is "Assembly Delegate".[4][failed verification]

Number of TDs[edit]

Ireland is divided into Dáil constituencies, each of which elects three, four, or five TDs. Under the Constitution, the total number of TDs must be fixed at one TD for each 20,000 to 30,000 of the population.[3] There are 160 TDs in the 33rd Dáil, elected at the 2020 general election under the Electoral (Amendment) (Dáil Constituencies) Act 2017. At the next general election, under the Electoral (Amendment) Act 2023, there will be 174 TDs. The outgoing Ceann Comhairle is automatically returned unless they announce their retirement before the dissolution of the Dáil.


A candidate for election as TD must be an Irish citizen and over 21 years of age. Members of the judiciary, the Garda Síochána, and the Defence Forces are disqualified from membership of the Dáil.[5]


The term was first used to describe those Irish parliamentarians[6] who were elected at the 1918 general election, and who, rather than attending the British House of Commons at Westminster, to which they had been elected, assembled instead in the Mansion House in Dublin on 21 January 1919 to create a new Irish parliament: the First Dáil Éireann. Initially, the term Feisire Dáil Eireann (F.D.E.) was mooted,[7] but 'Teachta' was used from the first meeting.[8] The term continued to be used after this First Dáil and was used to refer to later members of the Irish Republic's single-chamber Dáil Éireann (or 'Assembly of Ireland') (1919–1922), members of the Free State Dáil (1922–1937), and of the modern Dáil Éireann.


The initials "TD" are placed after the surname of the elected TD. For example, the current Taoiseach (head of government) is "Simon Harris, TD". The style used to refer to individual TDs during debates in Dáil Éireann is the member's surname preceded by Deputy (Irish: an Teachta): for example, "Deputy McDonald", "an Teachta Ní Dhomhnaill/Bhean Úi Dhomhnaill"[9] or "an Teachta Ó Domhnaill".[10]

Salaries and expenses[edit]

The basic salary of a backbench TD is €112,553.[11] Cabinet ministers and junior ministers receive additional allowances. Office-holders (opposition party leaders, whips, the Ceann Comhairle, and Leas-Cheann Comhairle) also receive additional allowances.[12]

After controversy regarding alleged abuses of the Oireachtas expenses provisions, the system was simplified in 2009 and 2010 into two allowances:[13][14][15][16]

  • Travel and accommodation allowance – ranging from €9,000 for TDs less than 25 km from Leinster House to €34,065 for those more than 360 km away.[16]
  • Public Representation Allowance – for maintaining a constituency office; €20,350 for backbench TDs, less for ministers.[16] All expenses must be vouched, except for a "petty cash" allowance of €100 per month. Until December 2012 TDs could choose between a €25,000 vouched allowance or €15,000 unvouched.[17]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Teachta Dála". Lexico UK English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. Archived from the original on 2 September 2022.
  2. ^ See e.g."Take Charge of Change" (PDF) (in English and Irish). Dublin: Office of the President. 2012. pp. 3, 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 March 2013. Retrieved 14 August 2013. Empower local Government so that our national representatives TDs don't engage in parochial politics./Cumhacht a thabhairt don Rialtas áitiúil ionas nach mbeidh ár gcuid ionadaithe náisiúnta, na TDanna, i mbun na polaitíochta paróistí.
  3. ^ a b "Dáil Éireann". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  4. ^ "The inaugural public meeting of Dáil Éireann". Dáil 100. Retrieved 28 February 2020.
  5. ^ Electoral Act 1992, s. 41: Disqualification for membership of Dáil (No. 23 of 1992, s. 41). Enacted on 5 November 1992. Act of the Oireachtas. Retrieved from Irish Statute Book.
  6. ^ 73 out of 105 seats won in Ireland at the 1918 general election were by Sinn Féin members. Unionist and Irish Parliamentary Party members refused to recognise the Dáil, and so did not attend.
  7. ^ e.g.
  8. ^ "Prelude". First Dáil proceedings (in Irish). Oireachtas. 21 January 1919. c.9. Retrieved 21 October 2016. Tháinig na Teachtaí I gceann a chéile I nÁrus Árd-Mhéire Bhaile Átha Cliath ar a 3.30 iar nóin.
  9. ^ Ms McDonald/Mrs McDonald
  10. ^ "Dáil Éireann". Houses of the Oireachtas.
  11. ^ "TDs and Senators salaries". Houses of the Oireachtas. 1 June 2024. Retrieved 18 June 2024.
  12. ^ "Allowances for additional responsibilities payable to Members of Dáil Éireann". Houses of the Oireachtas. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Revised system of expense allowances for Members of the Houses of the Oireachtas". Department of Finance, Government of Ireland. 10 February 2010. Archived from the original on 19 October 2013. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  14. ^ Murphy, Cormac (21 January 2009). "Lavish expenses for Oireachtas face overhaul". Evening Herald. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  15. ^ "Oireachtas (Allowances to Members) and Ministerial and Parliamentary Offices Act 2009". Irish Statute Book. 21 July 2009. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  16. ^ a b c "Parliamentary Standard Allowance (PSA) – Travel and Accommodation and Public Representation Allowances". Oireachtas. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  17. ^ Kelly, Fiach (6 December 2012). "Finally, TDs must provide receipts but no full reform". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 June 2013.