What the Taoisigh did next ...
Brian Cowen (stood down as Taoiseach on March 9, 2011) called a general election on January 20, 2011, by which stage his cabinet was disintegrating.
He remained on as Taoiseach when Micheál Martin replaced him as leader of Fianna Fáil on January 26.
Five days later he went on local radio to announce that he would not be running in the general election. Mr Cowen went to the US to study for a time and is on a number of company boards.
Bertie Ahern (May 7, 2008) spent some time on the backbenches after stepping down as Taoiseach in May 2008, although he was rarely seen around Leinster House.
In December 2010, he announced that he would not run in the next general election. Afterwards, Mr Ahern went on the speaking circuit and has more recently re-emerged as a political commentator.
John Bruton (June 26, 1997) was expected to get a second term as Toiseach but ended up as leader of the opposition after the 1997 election heralded the beginning of the Ahern-era.
He was deposed as Fine Gael leader in 2001 amid fears of a election wipe-out in 2001, with Michael Noonan taking the reins.
He remained in the Dáil until October 2004 when he became the EU's ambassador to the United States.
Albert Reynolds (December 15, 1994) announced his resignation as Taoiseach in November 1994 amid turbulent political times. This was a bid to avoid a general election as Fianna Fáil was in coalition with Dick Spring's Labour Party.
However, Labour crossed the floor to form the Rainbow government with Fine Gael and Democratic Left. Mr Reynolds returned to the backbenches. He continued as a TD until May 2002.
Charlie Haughey (February 11, 1992) retired as leader of Fianna Fáil at a parliamentary party meeting on January 30, 1992 but remained as Toiseach until February 11.
He returned to the backbenches for the eight months when an election was called. Mr Haughey spent much of his time after Leinster House dealing with tribunals.
Garret Fitzgerald (March 10, 1987) resigned as leader of Fine Gael immediately after losing the 1987 election.
He didn't leave political life until five years later. In retirement, he wrote a newspaper column and lectured widely.