Lord Lieutenant of Ireland - Constitutional Structure

Constitutional Structure

The Lord Lieutenant was advised in the governance by the Irish Privy Council, a body of appointed figures and hereditary title holders, which met in the Council Chamber in Dublin Castle and on occasion in other locations. The chief constitutional figures in the viceregal court were:

Chief Secretary for Ireland
From 1660, originally the chief administrator, but by the end of the 19th century effectively the prime minister in the administration, with the Lord Lieutenant becoming a form of constitutional monarch.
Under-Secretary for Ireland
The head of the civil service in Ireland.
Lord Justices
Three office-holders who acted in the Lord Lieutenant's stead during his absence. The Lord Justices were before 1800 the Lord Chancellor of Ireland, the Speaker of the Irish House of Commons, and the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Armagh as Primate of All Ireland.

Lords Lieutenant were appointed for no set term but served for "His/Her Majesty's pleasure". In reality that meant for as long as wished by the British Government. Where a ministry fell, the Lord Lieutenant was usually replaced by a supporter of the new ministry.

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