On 29 November 1976 Dr Patrick Hillery was elected President of Ireland succeeding Cearbhall Ó Dálaigh.

Returning Officer Gerald O'Doherty presided over a short ceremony at the Customs House in Dublin where the formal announcement of Dr Hillery's election was declared. He was accompanied by the President of the Hight Court Mr Justice William Finlay and Dr Hillery's election agent solicitor Patrick J O'Connor. 

I hereby declare Patrick J Hillery elected to the office of President of Ireland.

Notices of the announcement were handed to six army officers to be brought to Dr Hillery himself, to the Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, to Áras an Uachtaráin, and to the three members of the Presidential Commission. Colonel Rory Henderson delivered the news to the President elect who was waiting in the EEC offices in Merrion Square, Dublin. 

Although there was no public election for the position, Dr Hillery was elected as the Fianna Fáil representative by the party. Accepting the formal notification, Dr Hillery made a statement saying,

The office of President is a challenging one. It has been occupied before me by five of this country's most distinguished Irish men and I hope that I will prove a worthy successor to them.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 29 November 1976.

President Hillery was inaugurated as the 6th President of Ireland on 3 December 1976.