An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has confirmed that the date of the general election will be Saturday 8th February 2020.
This is the first time that a Saturday election has been held in the State since 1918.
Mr Varadkar announced the date to Cabinet earlier and said that he intends to ask President Michael D Higgins to dissolve the 32nd Dáil today.
With just over three weeks to go until polling day, campaigning is set to get underway quickly across the country.
Mr Varadkar said: “I have always said that the election should happen at the best time for the country.
“Now is that time.”
He said that the Saturday election date was chosen to end the inconvenience that a weekday polling day presents to families during school term and to make it easier for students and those working away from home to cast their votes.
In a speech today, the Taoiseach said that it is “only half-time” on Brexit.
“The next step is to negotiate a free trade agreement between the EU, including Ireland, and the United Kingdom that protects our jobs, our businesses, our rural communities, and our economy,” Mr Varadkar said.
“The capacity to do everything else that needs to be done — health, housing, climate action, tax reform — depends on achieving this outcome. And, it has to be done by the end of the year.
“There is a window of opportunity to hold a General Election and to have a new Government in place before the next European Council meeting in March with a strong mandate to focus on these negotiations into the summer and autumn.
“It has been a privilege to lead this country as your Taoiseach for the last two and half years. Thank you for that honour and your trust in me.
“Our economy has never been stronger. There are more people at work than ever before, incomes are rising, poverty is falling and the public finances are in back in order.
“We’ve made good progress, but I know it’s not enough.
“I want us to do much more.
“Now I seek a fresh mandate so we can continue to build a better future. A future we can all look forward to,” Mr Varadkar concluded.