Constitution

This document has been provided by the
International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL).

ICNL is the leading source for information on th e legal environment for civil society and public
participation. Since 1992, ICNL has served as a resource to civil society leaders, government
officials, and the donor community in over 90 countries.

Visit ICNL’s Online Library at
https://www.icnl.org/knowledge/library/index.php
for further resources and research from countries all over the world.

Disclaimers Content. The information provided herein is for general informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended and should not be
construed to constitute legal advice. The information contai ned herein may not be applicable in all situations and may not, after the date of
its presentation, even reflect the most current authority. Noth ing contained herein should be relied or acted upon without the benefit of legal
advice based upon the particular facts and circumstances pres ented, and nothing herein should be construed otherwise.
Translations. Translations by ICNL of any materials into other languages are intended solely as a convenience. Translation accuracy is not
guaranteed nor implied. If any questions arise related to the accuracy of a translation, please refer to the original language official version of
the document. Any discrepancies or differences created in the tr anslation are not binding and have no legal effect for compliance or
enforcement purposes.
Warranty and Limitation of Liability. Although ICNL uses reasonable efforts to include ac curate and up-to-date information herein, ICNL
makes no warranties or representations of any kind as to its a ccuracy, currency or completeness. You agree that access to and u se of this
document and the content thereof is at your own risk. ICNL discl aims all warranties of any kind, express or implied. Neither ICNL nor any
party involved in creating, producing or delivering this document shall be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of access to, use of
or inability to use this document, or any e rrors or omissions in the content thereof.

CONS TITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BUNRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN

CONSTITUTION O F IRELAND

Enacted by the P eople 1st July, 1937
In opera tion as from 29th December, 1937

This text of the Constituti on is a copy of the tex t
enrolled on 27 May, 1999 pursuant to Article 25.5.2°
except that:
the Transitory Provi sions (Articles 51-63) are omitted as
required by their terms; the Irish text has been altered
so as to make it c onform to modern standardiz ed Irish;
the twentieth amendment, enacted subsequent to
enrolment, is incorporated; the new Articles 2 a nd 3 and
the new section 8 i n Article 29 are inserted pursuant to
the provisions of th e Nine teenth Amendment of the
Constitution Act, 1998; the twenty-first, twenty-third
and twenty-sixth amendments, enacted subsequent to
enrolment have now been incorporated. Amendments
effected since the Constitutio n was enacted in 1937 up
to the time of printi ng of this edition (November 2002)
are listed below.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN

AMENDING ACTS
SHORT TITLE DATES OF SIGNATURE
First Amendment of the Constitution Act,
1939
[Extended to conflicts in which the State
is not a participant the provision for a
state of emergency to secure the public
safety and preservation of the State
in time of war or armed rebellion.] 2 September, 1939
Second Amendment of the Constitution
Act, 1941
[An omnibus proposal, covering a range
of disparate Articles, aimed at
tidying up the Constitution in the light of
experience since its enactment.] 30 May, 1941
Third Amendment of the Constitution Act,
1972
[Allowed the State to become a member
of the European Communities.] 8 June, 1972
Fourth Amendment of the Constitution
Act, 1972
[Reduced the minimum voting age at Dáil
and Presidential elections
and referendums from 21 years to 18
years.] 5 January, 1973

Fifth Amendment of the Constitution Act,
1972
[Removed from the Constitution the
special position of the Catholic
Church and the recognition of other
named religious denominations.] 5 January, 1973

Sixth Amendment of the Constitution
(Adoption) Act, 1979
[Ensured that adoption orders made by
the Adoption Board could
not be declared invalid because they
were not made by a court.] 3 August, 1979

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
Seventh Amendment of the Constitution
(Election of Members of Seanad Éireann
by Institutions of Higher Education) Act,
1979
[Provided for the election of members of
Seanad Éireann by universities
and other institutions of higher
education.] 3 August, 1979

Eighth Amendment of the Constitution
Act, 1983
[Acknowledged the right to life of the
unborn, with due regard to the
equal right to life of the mother.] 7 October, 1983

Ninth Amendment of the Constitution Act,
1984
[Extended the right to vote at Dáil
elections to certain non-Irish nationals.] 2 August, 1984

Tenth Amendment of the Constitution
Act, 1987
[Allowed the State to ratify the Single
European Act.] 22 June, 1987

Eleventh Amendment of the Constitution
Act, 1992
[Allowed the State to ra tify the Treaty on
European Union (Maastricht)
and to become a member of that union.] 16 July, 1992

There is no Twelfth Amendmen t. On 25 November 1992, three
proposals were put to the people , the Twelfth, Thirteenth and
Fourteenth Amendments. The people rejected the Twelfth (which
dealt with the right to life of the unborn) and approved the
Thirteenth and Fourteenth (below).

Thirteenth Amendment of the
Constitution Act, 1992
[Provided that Article 40.3.3° (the right
to life of the unborn) would not limit
freedom to travel between Ireland and
another state] 23 December, 1992

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN

Fourteenth Amendment of the
Constitution Act, 1992
[ Provided that Article 40.3.3 ° ( the right
to life of the unborn) would not limit
freedom to obtain or make available
information relating to services lawfully
available in another state.] 23 December, 1992

Fifteenth Amendment of the Constitution
Act, 1995
[ Provided for the dissolution of marriage
in certain specified circumstances.] 17 June 1996

Sixteenth Amendment of the Constitution
Act, 1996
[Provided for the refusal to bail by a court
to a person charged with a serious
offence where it is reasonably considered
necessary to prevent the commission of a
serious offence by that person.] 12 December, 1996

Seventeenth Amendment of the
Constitution Act, 1997
[Provided that the confidentiality of
discussions at meetings of the
Government would be respected save
only where the High Court, in certain
specified circumstances, determined that
disclosure should be made] 14 November, 1997

Eighteenth Amendment of the
Constitution Act, 1998
[Allowed the State to ra tify the Treaty of
Amsterdam.] 3 June, 1998

Nineteenth Amendment of the
Constitution Act, 1998
[Allowed the State to consent to be
bound by the British-Irish Agreement
done at Belfast on 10 April 1998 and
provided that certain further
amendments to the Constitution, notably
to Articles 2 and 3, would come into

3 June, 1998

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
effect when that agreement entered into
force.]

Twentieth Amendment of the Constitution
Act, 1999
[Provided constitutional recognition of the
role of local government and that local
elections are held at least every five
years.] 23 June, 1999

Twenty-first Amendment of the
Constitution Act, 2001 [Prohibition of
death penalty and removal of references
to death penalty]

27 March, 2002

There is no Twenty–second Amendment
of the Constitution. The Twenty–second
Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2001
[relating to the removal of a judge from
office and providing for a body to be
established by law to investigate or cause
to be investigated conduct constituting
misbehaviour by a judge or affected by
incapacity of a judge] was not passed by
the Houses of the Oireachtas.

Twenty–third Amendment of the
Constitution Act, 2001 [Allowing the
State to ratify the Rome Statute of the
International Criminal Court].

27 March, 2002

There is no Twenty-fourth Amendment of
the Constitution . On 7 June, 2001, three
proposals were put to the people, the
Twenty-first, Twenty-third and Twenty-
fourth Amendments. The people rejected
the Twenty-fourth (which dealt with the
Treaty of Nice) and approved the Twenty-
first and Twenty-third (above).

CONS TITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BUNRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
There is n o Twenty-fif th A m en dm en t. On
6 March, 2002, a p roposal for the
Twenty-fifth Amendment to the
Constituti on was put to the people and
was rejected [Protection of Pregnancy in
Human Life].

Twenty-sixth Amendment of the
Constitution Act, 2002. [Allowed the
State to ratify the Treaty of Nice].

7 November, 2002

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
Contents
ARTICLES
Preamble
1-3 The Nation
4-11 The State
12-14 The President
15-27 The National Parliament
15
16-17
18-19
20-27 Constitution and Powers
Dáil Éireann
Seanad Éireann
Legislation
28 The Government
28A Local Government
29 International Relations
30 The Attorney General
31-32 The Council of State
33 The Comptroller and Auditor General
34-37 The Courts
38-39 Trial Of Offences
40-44 Fundamental Rights
40
41
42
43
44 Personal Rights
The Family
Education
Private Property
Religion
45 Directive Principles of Social Policy
46 Amendment of the Constitution
47 The Referendum
48-50 Repeal of Constitution of Saorstát
Éireann and Continuance of Laws

CONS TITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BUNRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
CONSTITUTION O F IRELAND

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom
is all aut horit y and to Who m , as our final e nd, all
actions both of m en and States must be referred,
We, the people of Éire,
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our
Divine Lord, Jesus Chri st, Who sustained our
fathers t hroug h c entur ies of tr ial,
Grateful ly remembering t heir hero ic and
unremitt ing strug gle to re gain the right ful
independence of our Nation,
And seeking to promote the common good, with
due observance of Pruden ce, Justice and Charity,
so that the dignity and fr eedom of the indiv idual
may be assured, true so cial order attained, the
unit y o f our co untry resto red, and concord
established with other nations,
Do hereb y adopt, enact, and give t o ourselves this
Constitution.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE NATION

Article 1
The Irish nation hereby affirms its inalienable,
indefeasible, and sovereign right to choose its own form
of Government, to determine its relations with other
nations, and to develop its life, political, economic and
cultural, in accordance with its own genius and
traditions.
Article 2
It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born
in the island of Ireland, wh ich includes its islands and
seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the
entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in
accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland.
Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special
affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who
share its cultural identity and heritage.
Article 3
1. It is the firm will of the Irish Nation, in harmony and
friendship, to unite all the people who share the territory
of the island of Irelan d, in all the diversity of their identities
and traditions, recognisin g that a united Ireland
shall be brought about only by peaceful means with the
consent of a majority of the people, democratically
expressed, in both jurisdiction s in the island. Until then, the
laws enacted by the Parliament established by
this Constitution shall have the like area and extent of
application as the laws enacted by the Parliament that
existed immediately before the co ming into operation of this
Constitution.

2. Institutions with executive powers and functions that are shared between those jurisdictions may be established
by their respective responsible authorities for stated purposes
and may exercise powers and functions in respect
of all or any part of the island.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE STATE

Article 4
The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English
language, Ireland.
Article 5
Ireland is a sovereign, inde pendent, democratic state.
Article 6
1. All powers of government, legislative, executive and judicial,
derive, under God, from the people, whose right it is to
designate the rulers of the State and, in final appeal, to
decide all questions of national policy, according to the
requirements of the common good.

2. These powers of government ar e exercisable only by or on the
authority of the organs of State established by this
Constitution.
Article 7
The national flag is the tricolour of green, white and
orange.
Article 8
1. The Irish language as the nation al language is the first official
language.

2. The English language is reco gnised as a second official
language.

3. Provision may, however, be ma de by law for the exclusive use
of either of the said language s for any one or more official
purposes, either throughout the State or in any part thereof.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
Article 9
1. 1° On the coming into operation of this Constitution any
person who was a citizen of Saorstát Éireann immediately
before the coming into operatio n of this Constitution shall
become and be a citizen of Ireland.
2° The future acquisition an d loss of Irish nationality
and citizenship shall be determined in accordance with
law.
3° No person may be excluded from Irish nationality
and citizenship by reason of the sex of such person.
2. Fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State are fundamental
political duties of all citizens.

Article 10
1. All natural resources, incl uding the air and all forms of
potential energy, within the jurisdiction of the Parliament and
Government established by this Constitution and all royalties
and franchises within that jurisdiction belong to the State
subject to all estates and interests therein for the time being
lawfully vested in any person or body.

2. All land and all mines, minerals and waters which belonged to Saorstát Éireann immediatel y before the coming into
operation of this Constitution be long to the State to the same
extent as they then belong ed to Saorstát Éireann.

3. Provision may be made by law for the management of the
property which belongs to the St ate by virtue of this Article
and for the control of the alie nation, whether temporary or
permanent, of that property.

4. Provision may also be made by law for the management of
land, mines, minerals and waters acquired by the State after
the coming into operation of this Constitution and for the
control of the alienation, whethe r temporary or permanent, of
the land, mines, minerals and waters so acquired.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
Article 11
All revenues of the State from whatever source arising
shall, subject to such exception as may be provided by
law, form one fund, and shall be appropriated for the
purposes and in the manner and subject to the charges
and liabilities determined and imposed by law.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE PRESIDENT
Article 12
1. There shall be a President of Ireland (Uachtarán na hÉireann),
hereinafter called the President, who shall take precedence
over all other persons in the St ate and who shall exercise and
perform the powers and function s conferred on the President
by this Constitution and by law.

2. 1° The President shall be elected by direct vote of the people.
2° Every citizen who has the ri ght to vote at an election
for members of Dáil Éireann shall have the right to vote
at an election for President.
3° The voting shall be by secret ballot and on the
system of proportional repr esentation by means of the
single transferable vote.
3. 1° The President shall hold office for seven years from the
date upon which he enters upon his office, unless before the
expiration of that period he di es, or resigns, or is removed
from office, or becomes perm anently incapacitated, such
incapacity being established to the satisfaction of the
Supreme Court consisting of not less than five judges.
2° A person who holds, or who has held, office as
President, shall be eligible for re-election to that office
once, but only once.
3° An election for the office of President shall be held
not later than, and not earlier than the sixtieth day
before, the date of the expirati on of the term of office of
every President, but in the event of the removal from
office of the President or of his death, resignation, or
permanent incapacity establis hed as aforesaid (whether
occurring before or after he enters upon his office), an
election for the office of President shall be held within
sixty days after such event.
4. 1° Every citizen who has reached his thirty-fifth year of age is
eligible for election to the office of President.
2° Every candidate for election , not a former or retiring
President, must be nominated either by:
i. not less than twenty persons, each of whom is

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
at the time a member of
one of the Houses of the
Oireachtas, or
ii. by the Councils of not less
than four administrative
Counties (including County
Boroughs) as defined by
law.
3° No person and no such Council shall be entitled to
subscribe to the nomination of more than one candidate
in respect of the same election.
4° Former or retiring Presid ents may become candidates
on their own nomination.
5° Where only one candidate is nominated for the office
of President it shall not be necessary to proceed to a
ballot for his election.
5. Subject to the provisions of this Article, elections for the office
of President shall be regulated by law.

6. 1° The President shall not be a member of either House of the
Oireachtas.
2° If a member of either House of the Oireachtas be
elected President, he shall be deemed to have vacated
his seat in that House.
3° The President shall not hold any other office or
position of emolument.
7. The first President shall enter upon his office as soon as may
be after his election, and every subsequent President shall
enter upon his office on the day following the expiration of the
term of office of his predec essor or as soon as may be
thereafter or, in the event of his predecessor’s removal from
office, death, resignation, or permanent incapacity established
as provided by section 3 hereof, as soon as may be after the
election.

8. The President shall enter up on his office by taking and
subscribing publicly, in the pr esence of members of both
Houses of the Oireachtas, of Judges of the Supreme Court and
of the High Court, and other public personages, the following
declaration:

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
“In the presence of Almighty God I ,do
solemnly and sincerely promise and declare
that I will maintain the Constitution of
Ireland and uphold its laws, that I will fulfil
my duties faithfully and conscientiously in
accordance with the Constitution and the
law, and that I will dedicate my abilities to
the service and welfare of the people of
Ireland. May God direct and sustain me.”

9. The President shall not leave the State during his term of
office save with the consent of the Government.

10. 1° The President may be impeached for stated misbehaviour.
2° The charge shall be preferred by either of the Houses
of the Oireachtas, subject to and in accordance with the
provisions of this section.
3° A proposal to either Ho use of the Oireachtas to
prefer a charge against the President under this section
shall not be entertained unless upon a notice of motion
in writing signed by not less than thirty members of that
House.
4° No such proposal shall be adopted by either of the
Houses of the Oireachtas save upon a resolution of that
House supported by not less th an two-thirds of the total
membership thereof.
5° When a charge has been preferred by either House
of the Oireachtas, the other House shall investigate the
charge, or cause the charge to be investigated.
6° The President shall have the right to appear and to
be represented at the investigation of the charge.
7° If, as a result of the in vestigation, a resolution be
passed supported by not less than two-thirds of the
total membership of the Ho use of the Oireachtas by
which the charge was investigated, or caused to be
investigated, declaring that the charge preferred against
the President has been sustained and that the
misbehaviour, the subject of the charge, was such as to
render him unfit to continue in office, such resolution
shall operate to remove the President from his office.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
11.
1° The President shall have an o fficial residence in or near the
City of Dublin.
2° The President shall rece ive such emoluments and
allowances as may be determined by law.
3° The emoluments and allowances of the President
shall not be diminished during his term of office.
Article 13
1. 1° The President shall, on th e nomination of Dáil Éireann,
appoint the Taoiseach, that is, the head of the Government or
Prime Minister.
2° The President shall, on the nomination of the
Taoiseach with the previous approval of Dáil Éireann,
appoint the other members of the Government.
3° The President shall, on th e advice of the Taoiseach,
accept the resignation or terminate the appointment of
any member of the Government.
2. 1° Dáil Éireann shall be su mmoned and dissolved by the
President on the advice of the Taoiseach.
2° The President may in his absolute discretion refuse to
dissolve Dáil Éireann on the advice of a Taoiseach who
has ceased to retain the su pport of a majority in Dáil
Éireann.
3° The President may at an y time, after consultation
with the Council of State, co nvene a meeting of either
or both of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
3. 1° Every Bill passed or deemed to have been passed by both
Houses of the Oireachtas shall require the signature of the
President for its enactment into law.
2° The President shall promulgate every law made by
the Oireachtas.
4. The supreme command of th e Defence Forces is hereby
vested in the President.

5. 1° The exercise of the su preme command of the Defence
Forces shall be regulated by law.
2° All commissioned officers of the Defence Forces shall
hold their commissions from the President.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
6. The right of pardon and the power to commute or remit
punishment imposed by any court exercising criminal
jurisdiction are hereby vested in the President, but such
power of commutation or remissi on may also be conferred by
law on other authorities.

7. 1° The President may, after consultation with the Council of State, communicate with the Ho uses of the Oireachtas by
message or address on any ma tter of national or public
importance.
2° The President may, after consultation with the
Council of State, address a message to the Nation at
any time on any such matter.
3° Every such message or a ddress must, however, have
received the approval of the Government.
8. 1° The President shall not be answerable to either House of
the Oireachtas or to any court for the exercise and
performance of the powers and functions of his office or for
any act done or purporting to be done by him in the exercise
and performance of these powers and functions.
2° The behaviour of the Presid ent may, however, be brought
under review in either of the Ho uses of the Oireachtas for the
purposes of section 10 of Article 12 of this Constitution, or by
any court, tribunal or body appo inted or designated by either
of the Houses of the Oireachtas for the investigation of a
charge under section 10 of the said Article.
9. The powers and functions conferred on the President by this
Constitution shall be exercisable and performable by him only
on the advice of the Government, save where it is provided by
this Constitution that he shall act in his absolute discretion or
after consultation with or in rela tion to the Council of State, or
on the advice or nomination of , or on receipt of any other
communication from, any other person or body.
10. Subject to this Constitution, additional powers and functions may be conferred on the President by law.

11. No power or function conf erred on the President by law
shall be exercisable or performable by him save only on the
advice of the Government.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
Article 14
1. In the event of the absence of the President, or his temporary
incapacity, or his permanent incapacity established as
provided by section 3 of Articl e 12 hereof, or in the event of
his death, resignation, remova l from office, or failure to
exercise and perform the powers and functions of his office or
any of them, or at any time at which the office of President
may be vacant, the powers and functions conferred on the
President by or under this Constitution shall be exercised and
performed by a Commission constituted as provided in section
2 of this Article.

2. 1° The Commission shall consist of the following persons,
namely, the Chief Justice, the Chairman of Dáil Éireann (An
Ceann Comhairle), and the Chai rman of Seanad Éireann.
2° The President of the High Court shall act as a
member of the Commission in the place of the Chief
Justice on any occasion on which the office of Chief
Justice is vacant or on which the Chief Justice is unable
to act.
3° The Deputy Chairman of Dáil Éireann shall act as a
member of the Commission in the place of the Chairman
of Dáil Éireann on any occasi on on which the office of
Chairman of Dáil Éireann is va cant or on which the said
Chairman is unable to act.
4° The Deputy Chairman of Seanad Éireann shall act as
a member of the Commission in the place of the
Chairman of Seanad Éireann on any occasion on which
the office of Chairman of Sean ad Éireann is vacant or on
which the said Chairman is unable to act.
3. The Commission may act by any two of their number and may act notwithstanding a vacancy in their membership.

4. The Council of State may by a majority of its members make such provision as to them ma y seem meet for the exercise
and performance of the powers and functions conferred on
the President by or under this Constitution in any contingency
which is not provided for by th e foregoing provisions of this
Article.

5. 1° The provisions of this Co nstitution which relate to the
exercise and performance by th e President of the powers and

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
functions conferred on him by or under this Constitution shall
subject to the subsequent provis ions of this section apply to
the exercise and performance of the said powers and
functions under this Article.
2° In the event of the failure of the President to exercise or
perform any power or function which the President is by or
under this Constitution required to exercise or perform within
a specified time, the said power or function shall be exercised
or performed under this Article, as soon as may be after the
expiration of the time so specified.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENT
Constitution and Powers
Article 15
1. 1° The National Parliament sh all be called and known, and is
in this Constitution generally referred to, as the Oireachtas.
2° The Oireachtas shall consist of the President and two
Houses, viz.: a House of Representatives to be called
Dáil Éireann and a Senate to be called Seanad Éireann.
3° The Houses of the Oireachtas shall sit in or near the
City of Dublin or in such other place as they may from
time to time determine.
2. 1° The sole and exclusive power of making laws for the State is hereby vested in the Oireachtas: no other legislative
authority has power to make laws for the State.
2° Provision may however be made by law for the
creation or recognition of subordinate legislatures and
for the powers and functions of these legislatures.
3. 1° The Oireachtas may prov ide for the establishment or
recognition of functional or vo cational councils representing
branches of the social and economic life of the people.
2° A law establishing or recognising any such council
shall determine its rights, powers and duties, and its
relation to the Oireachtas and to the Government.
4. 1° The Oireachtas shall not enact any law which is in any
respect repugnant to this Co nstitution or any provision
thereof.
2° Every law enacted by the Oireachtas which is in any
respect repugnant to this Constitution or to any
provision thereof, shall, but to the extent only of such
repugnancy, be invalid.
5. 1° The Oireachtas shall not de clare acts to be infringements
of the law which were not so at the date of their commission.
2° The Oireachtas shall not enact any law providing for the
imposition of the death penalty.
6. 1° The right to raise and maintain military or armed forces is vested exclusively in the Oireachtas.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
2° No military or armed force, other than a military or
armed force raised and main tained by the Oireachtas,
shall be raised or main tained for any purpose
whatsoever.
7. The Oireachtas shall hold at least one session every year.
8. 1° Sittings of each House of the Oireachtas shall be public.
2° In cases of special emergency, however, either
House may hold a private sitting with the assent of two-
thirds of the members present.
9. 1° Each House of the Oireacht as shall elect from its members
its own Chairman and Deputy Chairman, and shall prescribe
their powers and duties.
2° The remuneration of the Chairman and Deputy
Chairman of each House shall be determined by law.
10. Each House shall make its own rules and standing orders, with power to attach penalties for their infringement,
and shall have power to ensure freedom of debate, to protect
its official documents and the pr ivate papers of its members,
and to protect itself and its members against any person or
persons interfering with, molest ing or attempting to corrupt
its members in the exercise of their duties.

11. 1° All questions in each House shall, save as otherwise
provided by this Constitution, be determined by a majority of
the votes of the members presen t and voting other than the
Chairman or presiding member.
2° The Chairman or presid ing member shall have and
exercise a casting vote in the case of an equality of
votes.
3° The number of members necessary to constitute a
meeting of either House for the exercise of its powers
shall be determined by its standing orders.
12. All official reports and pub lications of the Oireachtas or
of either House thereof and utte rances made in either House
wherever published shall be privileged.

13. The members of each Hous e of the Oireachtas shall,
except in case of treason as defined in this Constitution,

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
felony or breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest in
going to and returning from, and while within the precincts of,
either House, and shall not, in respect of any utterance in
either House, be amenable to any court or any authority other
than the House itself.

14. No person may be at the same time a member of both
Houses of the Oireachtas, and, if any person who is already a
member of either House beco mes a member of the other
House, he shall forthwith be d eemed to have vacated his first
seat.

15. The Oireachtas may make provision by law for the payment of allowances to the members of each House thereof
in respect of their duties as public representatives and for the
grant to them of free travelling and such other facilities (if
any) in connection with those duties as the Oireachtas may
determine.
Dáil Éireann
Article 16
1. 1° Every citizen without dist inction of sex who has reached
the age of twenty-one years, and who is not placed under
disability or incapacity by this Co nstitution or by law, shall be
eligible for membership of Dáil Éireann.
2° i All citizens, and
ii such other pe rsons in the State as may be
determined by law,
without distinction of sex wh o have reached the age of
eighteen years who are not disqualified by law and
comply with the provisions of the law relating to the
election of members of Dáil Éireann, shall have the right
to vote at an election fo r members of Dáil Éireann.
3° No law shall be enacted placing any citizen under
disability or incapacity for membership of Dáil Éireann
on the ground of sex or disqualifying any citizen or
other person from voting at an election for members of
Dáil Éireann on that ground.
4° No voter may exercise more than one vote at an
election for Dáil Éireann, and the voting shall be by
secret ballot.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
2. 1° Dáil Éireann shall be comp osed of members who represent
constituencies determined by law.
2° The number of members shall from time to time be
fixed by law, but the total number of members of Dáil
Éireann shall not be fixed at less than one member for
each thirty thousand of the population, or at more than
one member for each twenty thousand of the
population.
3° The ratio between the number of members to be
elected at any time for each constituency and the
population of each constitu ency, as ascertained at the
last preceding census, shall, so far as it is practicable,
be the same throughout the country.
4° The Oireachtas shall revise the constituencies at
least once in every twelve years, with due regard to
changes in distribution of the population, but any
alterations in the constituen cies shall not take effect
during the life of Dáil Éireann sitting when such revision
is made.
5° The members shall be elected on the system of
proportional representation by means of the single
transferable vote.
6° No law shall be enacted whereby the number of
members to be returned for any constituency shall be
less than three.
3. 1° Dáil Éireann shall be summ oned and dissolved as provided
by section 2 of Article 13 of this Constitution.
2° A general election for members of Dáil Éireann shall
take place not later than thirty days after a dissolution
of Dáil Éireann.
4. 1° Polling at every general el ection for Dáil Éireann shall as
far as practicable take place on the same day throughout the
country.
2° Dáil Éireann shall meet with in thirty days from that
polling day.
5. The same Dáil Éireann shall no t continue for a longer period
than seven years from the date of its first meeting: a shorter
period may be fixed by law.
6. Provision shall be made by la w to enable the member of Dáil
Éireann who is the Chairman i mmediately before a dissolution

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
of Dáil Éireann to be deemed with out any actual election to be
elected a member of Dáil Éire ann at the ensuing general
election.

7. Subject to the foregoing provisio ns of this Article, elections for
membership of Dáil Éireann, in cluding the filling of casual
vacancies, shall be regulated in accordance with law.
Article 17
1. 1° As soon as possible after the presentation to Dáil Éireann
under Article 28 of this Constitution of the Estimates of
receipts and the Estimates of ex penditure of the State for any
financial year, Dáil Éireann sha ll consider such Estimates.
2° Save in so far as may be provided by specific
enactment in each case, the legislation required to give
effect to the Financial Resolutions of each year shall be
enacted within that year.
2. Dáil Éireann shall not pass any vote or resolution, and no law
shall be enacted, for the appropriation of revenue or other
public moneys unless the purpose of the appropriation shall
have been recommended to Dáil Éireann by a message from
the Government signed by the Taoiseach.
Seanad Éireann
Article 18
1. Seanad Éireann shall be co mposed of sixty members, of
whom eleven shall be nominated members and forty-nine
shall be elected members.

2. A person to be eligible fo r membership of Seanad Éireann
must be eligible to become a member of Dáil Éireann.

3. The nominated members of Seanad Éireann shall be nominated, with their prior consent, by the Taoiseach who is
appointed next after the re-assembly of Dáil Éireann following
the dissolution thereof which occasions the nomination of the
said members.

4. 1° The elected members of Seanad Éireann shall be elected as follows:—

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
i Three shall be elected by the
National University of Ireland.
ii Three shall be elected by the
University of Dublin.
iii Forty-three shall be elected
from panels of candidates
constituted as hereinafter
provided.
2° Provision may be made by law for the election, on a
franchise and in the manner to be provided by law, by
one or more of the following institutions, namely:
i the universities mentioned in
subsection 1° of this section,
ii any other institutions of higher
education in the State,
of so many members of Seanad Éireann as may be fixed
by law in substitution fo r an equal number of the
members to be elected pursuant to paragraphs i and ii
of the said subsection 1°.
A member or members of Seanad Éireann may be
elected under this subsection by institutions grouped
together or by a single institution.
3° Nothing in this Article shall be invoked to prohibit the
dissolution by law of a university mentioned in
subsection 1° of this section.
5. Every election of the elected members of Seanad Éireann shall
be held on the system of proportional representation by
means of the single transferable vote, and by secret postal
ballot.

6. The members of Seanad Éireann to be elected by the
Universities shall be elected on a franchise and in the manner
to be provided by law.

7. 1° Before each general elec tion of the members of Seanad
Éireann to be elected from panels of candidates, five panels of
candidates shall be formed in the manner provided by law
containing respectively the names of persons having
knowledge and practical experien ce of the following interests
and services, namely:–

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
i National Language and Culture,
Literature, Art, Education and
such professional interests as
may be defined by law for the
purpose of this panel;
ii Agriculture and allied
interests, and Fisheries;
iii Labour, whether organised or
unorganised;
iv Industry and Commerce,
including banking, finance,
accountancy, engineering and
architecture;
v Public Administration and
social services, including
voluntary social activities.
2° Not more than eleven and, subject to the provisions
of Article 19 hereof, not le ss than five members of
Seanad Éireann shall be elected from any one panel.
8. A general election for Seanad Éireann shall take place not later than ninety days after a dissolution of Dáil Éireann, and
the first meeting of Seanad Éire ann after the general election
shall take place on a day to be fixed by the President on the
advice of the Taoiseach.

9. Every member of Seanad Éi reann shall, unless he dies,
resigns, or becomes disqualified, continue to hold office until
the day before the polling day of the general election for
Seanad Éireann next held after his election or nomination.

10. 1° Subject to the foregoing provis ions of this Article elections
of the elected members of Sean ad Éireann shall be regulated
by law.
2° Casual vacancies in the number of the nominated
members of Seanad Éireann shall be filled by
nomination by the Taoiseach with the prior consent of
persons so nominated.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
3° Casual vacancies in the number of the elected
members of Seanad Éireann shall be filled in the
manner provided by law.
Article 19
Provision may be made by law fo r the direct election by any
functional or vocational group or association or council of so many
members of Seanad Éireann as may be fixed by such law in
substitution for an equal number of the members to be elected from
the corresponding panels of candid ates constituted under Article 18
of this Constitution.
Legislation
Article 20
1. Every Bill initiated in and pass ed by Dáil Éireann shall be sent
to Seanad Éireann and may, unless it be a Money Bill, be
amended in Seanad Éireann an d Dáil Éireann shall consider
any such amendment.

2. 1° A Bill other than a Money Bill may be initiated in Seanad
Éireann, and if passed by Seanad Éireann, shall be introduced
in Dáil Éireann.
2° A Bill initiated in Seanad Éireann if amended in Dáil
Éireann shall be considered as a Bill initiated in Dáil
Éireann.
3. A Bill passed by either House and accepted by the other House shall be deemed to have been passed by both Houses.
Money Bills
Article 21
1. 1° Money Bills shall be initiated in Dáil Éireann only.
2° Every Money Bill passed by Dáil Éireann shall be sent
to Seanad Éireann for its recommendations.
2. 1° Every Money Bill sent to Seanad Éireann for its
recommendations shall, at the expiration of a period not
longer than twenty-one days afte r it shall have been sent to
Seanad Éireann, be returned to Dáil Éireann, which may
accept or reject all or any of the recommendations of Seanad
Éireann.
2° If such Money Bill is not returned by Seanad Éireann
to Dáil Éireann within such twenty-one days or is

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
returned within such twenty-one days with
recommendations which Dáil Éi reann does not accept, it
shall be deemed to have been passed by both Houses at
the expiration of the said twenty-one days.
Article 22
1. 1° A Money Bill means a Bill wh ich contains only provisions
dealing with all or any of th e following matters, namely, the
imposition, repeal, remission, al teration or regulation of
taxation; the imposition for th e payment of debt or other
financial purposes of charges on public moneys or the
variation or repeal of any such charges; supply; the
appropriation, receipt, custody, issue or audit of accounts of
public money; the raising or guarantee of any loan or the
repayment thereof; matters su bordinate and incidental to
these matters or any of them.
2° In this definition the ex pressions “taxation”, “public
money” and “loan” respectively do not include any
taxation, money or loan raised by local authorities or
bodies for local purposes.
2. 1° The Chairman of Dáil Éirea nn shall certify any Bill which, in
his opinion, is a Money Bill to be a Money Bill, and his
certificate shall, subject to the subsequent provisions of this
section, be final and conclusive.
2° Seanad Éireann, by a resolution, passed at a sitting
at which not less than thirty members are present, may
request the President to refer the question whether the
Bill is or is not a Money Bill to a Committee of Privileges.
3° If the President after consultation with the Council of
State decides to accede to the request he shall appoint
a Committee of Privileges consisting of an equal number
of members of Dáil Éireann and of Seanad Éireann and
a Chairman who shall be a Judge of the Supreme Court:
these appointments shall be made after consultation
with the Council of State. In the case of an equality of
votes but not otherwise the Chairman shall be entitled
to vote.
4° The President shall refer the question to the
Committee of Privileges so appointed and the
Committee shall report its decision thereon to the
President within twenty-one days after the day on which
the Bill was sent to Seanad Éireann.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
5° The decision of the Committee shall be final and
conclusive.
6° If the President after consultation with the Council of
State decides not to accede to the request of Seanad
Éireann, or if the Committee of Privileges fails to report
within the time hereinbefore specified the certificate of
the Chairman of Dáil Éireann shall stand confirmed.
Time for Consideration of Bills
Article 23
1. This Article applies to every Bill passed by Dáil Éireann and
sent to Seanad Éireann other than a Money Bill or a Bill the
time for the consideration of which by Seanad Éireann shall
have been abridged under Arti cle 24 of this Constitution.
1° Whenever a Bill to which th is Article applies is within
the stated period defined in the next following sub-
section either rejected by Seanad Éireann or passed by
Seanad Éireann with amendments to which Dáil Éireann
does not agree or is neither passed (with or without
amendment) nor rejected by Seanad Éireann within the
stated period, the Bill shall, if Dáil Éireann so resolves
within one hundred and eighty days after the expiration
of the stated period be deemed to have been passed by
both Houses of the Oireacht as on the day on which the
resolution is passed.
2° The stated period is the period of ninety days
commencing on the day on which the Bill is first sent by
Dáil Éireann to Seanad Éireann or any longer period
agreed upon in respect of the Bill by both Houses of the
Oireachtas.
2. 1° The preceding section of th is Article shall apply to a Bill
which is initiated in and passed by Seanad Éireann, amended
by Dáil Éireann, and accordingly deemed to have been
initiated in Dáil Éireann.
2° For the purpose of this a pplication the stated period
shall in relation to such a Bill commence on the day on
which the Bill is first sent to Seanad Éireann after
having been amended by Dáil Éireann.
Article 24
1. If and whenever on the passage by Dáil Éireann of any Bill,
other than a Bill expressed to be a Bill containing a proposal

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
to amend the Constitution, the Taoiseach certifies by
messages in writing addressed to the President and to the
Chairman of each House of the Oireachtas that, in the opinion
of the Government, the Bill is urgent and immediately
necessary for the preservation of the public peace and
security, or by reason of the ex istence of a public emergency,
whether domestic or international, the time for the
consideration of such Bill by Seanad Éireann shall, if Dáil
Éireann so resolves and if the President, after consultation
with the Council of State, concur s, be abridged to such period
as shall be specified in the resolution.
2. Where a Bill, the time for the consideration of which by
Seanad Éireann has been abridged under this Article,
(a) is, in the case of a Bill which is not
a Money Bill, rejected by Seanad
Éireann or passed by Seanad Éireann
with amendments to which Dáil
Éireann does not agree or neither
passed nor rejected by Seanad
Éireann, or
(b) is, in the case of a Money Bill,
either returned by Seanad Éireann to
Dáil Éireann with recommendations
which Dáil Éireann does not accept or
is not returned by Seanad Éireann to
Dáil Éireann,
within the period specified in the resolution, the Bill
shall be deemed to have been passed by both Houses of
the Oireachtas at the expiration of that period.
3. When a Bill the time for the consideration of which by Seanad Éireann has been abridged under this Article becomes law it
shall remain in force for a period of ninety days from the date
of its enactment and no longer unl ess, before the expiration of
that period, both Houses shall ha ve agreed that such law shall
remain in force for a longer pe riod and the longer period so
agreed upon shall have been specified in resolutions passed
by both Houses.
Signing and Promulgation of Laws
Article 25
1. As soon as any Bill, other th an a Bill expressed to be a Bill
containing a proposal for the am endment of this Constitution,
shall have been passed or deemed to have been passed by

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
both Houses of the Oireachtas, the Taoiseach shall present it
to the President for his signature and for promulgation by him
as a law in accordance with the provisions of this Article.
2. 1° Save as otherwise provided by this Constitution, every Bill
so presented to the President for his signature and for
promulgation by him as a law sh all be signed by the President
not earlier than the fifth and not later than the seventh day
after the date on which the Bill shall have been presented to
him.
2° At the request of the Government, with the prior
concurrence of Seanad Éirea nn, the President may sign
any Bill the subject of such request on a date which is
earlier than the fifth day after such date as aforesaid.
3. Every Bill the time for the co nsideration of which by Seanad
Éireann shall have been abridged under Article 24 of this
Constitution shall be signed by the President on the day on
which such Bill is presented to him for signature and
promulgation as a law.
4. 1° Every Bill shall become and be law as on and from the day
on which it is signed by the President under this Constitution,
and shall, unless the contrary intention appears, come into
operation on that day.
2° Every Bill signed by the President under this
Constitution shall be promulgated by him as a law by
the publication by his direction of a notice in the Iris
Oifigiúil stating that the Bill has become law.
3° Every Bill shall be signed by the President in the text
in which it was passed or deemed to have been passed
by both Houses of the Oireachtas, and if a Bill is so
passed or deemed to have been passed in both the
official languages, the Presid ent shall sign the text of
the Bill in each of those languages.
4° Where the President signs the text of a Bill in one
only of the official languages, an official translation shall
be issued in the othe r official language.
5° As soon as may be after the signature and
promulgation of a Bill as a law, the text of such law
which was signed by the President or, where the
President has signed the text of such law in each of the
official languages, both the signed texts shall be
enrolled for record in the offi ce of the Registrar of the
Supreme Court, and the text, or both the texts, so

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
enrolled shall be conclusive evidence of the provisions of
such law.
6° In case of conflict betw een the texts of a law enrolled
under this section in both the official languages, the text
in the national language shall prevail.
5. 1° It shall be lawful for the Taoiseach, from time to time as occasion appears to him to requ ire, to cause to be prepared
under his supervision a text (in bo th the official languages) of
this Constitution as then in force embodying all amendments
theretofore made therein.
2° A copy of every te xt so prepared, when
authenticated by the signat ures of the Taoiseach and
the Chief Justice, shall be signed by the President and
shall be enrolled for record in the office of the Registrar
of the Supreme Court.
3° The copy so signed and enrolled which is for the time
being the latest text so pr epared shall, upon such
enrolment, be conclusive evidence of this Constitution
as at the date of such en rolment and shall for that
purpose supersede all texts of this Constitution of which
copies were so enrolled.
4° In case of conflict betw een the texts of any copy of
this Constitution enrolled under this section, the text in
the national language shall prevail.

Reference of Bills to the Supreme Court
Article 26
This Article applies to any Bill passed or deemed to have been
passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas other than a Money Bill, or
a Bill expressed to be a Bill cont aining a proposal to amend the
Constitution, or a Bill the time fo r the consideration of which by
Seanad Éireann shall have been ab ridged under Article 24 of this
Constitution.
1. 1° The President may, after consultation with the Council of State, refer any Bill to which this Article applies to the
Supreme Court for a decision on the question as to whether
such Bill or any specified provisio n or provisions of such Bill is
or are repugnant to this Constitution or to any provision
thereof.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
2° Every such reference shall be made not later than
the seventh day after the date on which such Bill shall
have been presented by the Taoiseach to the President
for his signature.
3° The President shall not si gn any Bill the subject of a
reference to the Supreme Court under this Article
pending the pronouncement of the decision of the
Court.
2. 1° The Supreme Court consisting of not less than five judges shall consider every question referred to it by the President
under this Article for a decision , and, having heard arguments
by or on behalf of the Atto rney General and by counsel
assigned by the Court, shall pr onounce its decision on such
question in open court as soon as may be, and in any case
not later than sixty days after the date of such reference.
2° The decision of the majority of the judges of the Supreme
Court shall, for the purposes of th is Article, be the decision of
the Court and shall be pronounced by such one of those
judges as the Court shall direct, and no other opinion,
whether assenting or dissenting, shall be pronounced nor shall
the existence of any such other opinion be disclosed.
3. 1° In every case in which th e Supreme Court decides that any
provision of a Bill the subject of a reference to the Supreme
Court under this Article is repugnant to this Constitution or to
any provision thereof, the Presid ent shall decline to sign such
Bill.
2° If, in the case of a Bill to which Article 27 of this
Constitution applies, a petition has been addressed to the
President under that Article, that Article shall be complied
with.
3° In every other case the Presid ent shall sign the Bill as soon
as may be after the date on which the decision of the
Supreme Court shall have been pronounced.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
Reference of Bills to the People
Article 27
This Article applies to any Bill, ot her than a Bill expressed to be a
Bill containing a proposal for the amendment of this Constitution,
which shall have been deemed, by virtue of Article 23 hereof, to
have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
1. A majority of the members of Seanad Éireann and not less than one-third of the members of Dáil Éireann may by a joint
petition addressed to the President by them under this Article
request the President to decline to sign and promulgate as a
law any Bill to which this article applies on the ground that the
Bill contains a proposal of such national importance that the
will of the people thereon ought to be ascertained.
2. Every such petition shall be in writing and shall be signed by
the petitioners whose signatures shall be verified in the
manner prescribed by law.
3. Every such petition shall contain a statement of the particular
ground or grounds on which the request is based, and shall be
presented to the President not la ter than four days after the
date on which the Bill shall have been deemed to have been
passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas.
4. 1° Upon receipt of a petiti on addressed to him under this
Article, the President shall forthwith consider such petition
and shall, after consultation with the Council of State,
pronounce his decision thereon not later than ten days after
the date on which the Bill to wh ich such petition relates shall
have been deemed to have b een passed by both Houses of
the Oireachtas.
2° If the Bill or any provision th ereof is or has been referred
to the Supreme Court under Article 26 of this Constitution, it
shall not be obligatory on th e President to consider the
petition unless or until the Su preme Court has pronounced a
decision on such reference to th e effect that the said Bill or
the said provision thereof is not repugnant to this Constitution
or to any provision thereof, and, if a decision to that effect is
pronounced by the Supreme Cour t, it shall not be obligatory
on the President to pronounce his decision on the petition
before the expiration of six days after the day on which the
decision of the Supreme Court to the effect aforesaid is
pronounced.
5. 1° In every case in which th e President decides that a Bill the
subject of a petition under this Article contains a proposal of

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
such national importance that the will of the people thereon
ought to be ascertained, he shall inform the Taoiseach and
the Chairman of each House of the Oireachtas accordingly in
writing under his hand and Seal and shall decline to sign and
promulgate such Bill as a law unless and until the proposal
shall have been approved either
i by the people at a Referendum
in accordance with the
provisions of section 2 of Article
47 of this Constitution within a
period of eighteen months from
the date of the President’s
decision, or
ii by a resolution of Dáil Éireann
passed within the said period
after a dissolution and re-
assembly of Dáil Éireann.
2° Whenever a proposal contained in a Bill the subject
of a petition under this Article shall have been approved
either by the people or by a resolution of Dáil Éireann in
accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section,
such Bill shall as soon as ma y be after such approval be
presented to the President for his signature and
promulgation by him as a law and the President shall
thereupon sign the Bill and duly promulgate it as a law.
6. In every case in which the President decides that a Bill the subject of a petition under this Article does not contain a
proposal of such national im portance that the will of the
people thereon ought to be ascertained, he shall inform the
Taoiseach and the Chairman of each House of the Oireachtas
accordingly in writing under his hand and Seal, and such Bill
shall be signed by the President not later than eleven days
after the date on which the B ill shall have been deemed to
have been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas and shall
be duly promulgated by him as a law.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE GOVERNMENT
Article 28
1. The Government shall consist of not less than seven and not
more than fifteen members who shall be appointed by the
President in accordance with the provisions of this
Constitution.
2. The executive power of the State shall, subject to the
provisions of this Constitution , be exercised by or on the
authority of the Government.
3. 1° War shall not be declared and the State shall not
participate in any war save with the assent of Dáil Éireann.
2° In the case of actual invasion, however, the
Government may take whatever steps they may
consider necessary for the pr otection of the State, and
Dáil Éireann if not sitting shall be summoned to meet at
the earliest practicable date.
3° Nothing in this Constitution other than Article 15.5.2°
shall be invoked to invalidate any law enacted by the
Oireachtas which is expressed to be for the purpose of
securing the public safety and the preservation of the
State in time of war or armed rebellion, or to nullify any
act done or purporting to be done in time of war or
armed rebellion in pursuance of any such law. In this
sub-section “time of war” includes a time when there is
taking place an armed conflict in which the State is not
a participant but in respect of which each of the Houses
of the Oireachtas shall have resolved that, arising out of
such armed conflict, a national emergency exists
affecting the vital interests of the State and “time of war
or armed rebel-lion” includes such time after the
termination of any war, or of any such armed conflict as
aforesaid, or of an armed rebellion, as may elapse until
each of the Houses of the Oireachtas shall have
resolved that the national emergency occasioned by
such war, armed conflict, or armed rebellion has ceased
to exist.
4. 1° The Government shall be responsible to Dáil Éireann.
2° The Government shall meet and act as a collective
authority, and shall be colle ctively responsible for the
Departments of State admini stered by the members of
the Government.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
3° The confidentiality of disc ussions at meetings of the
Government shall be respected in all circumstances save
only where the High Court determines that disclosure
should be made in respect of a particular matter –
i in the interests of the administration
of justice by a Court, or
ii by virtue of an overriding public
interest, pursuant to an application in
that behalf by a tribunal appointed by
the Government or a Minister of the
Government on the authority of the
Houses of the Oireachtas to inquire
into a matter stated by them to be of
public importance.
4° The Government shall prepare Estimates of the
Receipts and Estimates of the Expenditure of the State
for each financial year, and shall present them to Dáil
Éireann for consideration.
5. 1° The head of the Government, or Prime Minister, shall be called, and is in this Constitution referred to as, the
Taoiseach.
2° The Taoiseach shall k eep the President generally
informed on matters of domestic and international
policy.
6. 1° The Taoiseach shall nominate a member of the
Government to be the Tánaiste.
2° The Tánaiste shall act for all purposes in the place of
the Taoiseach if the Taoiseach should die, or become
permanently incapacitated, until a new Taoiseach shall
have been appointed.
3° The Tánaiste shall also ac t for or in the place of the
Taoiseach during the temporary absence of the
Taoiseach.
7. 1° The Taoiseach, the Tánaiste and the member of the Government who is in charge of the Department of Finance
must be members of Dáil Éireann.
2° The other members of the Government must be
members of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann, but not
more than two may be memb ers of Seanad Éireann.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
8. Every member of the Government shall have the right to
attend and be heard in each House of the Oireachtas.
9. 1° The Taoiseach may resign from office at any time by
placing his resignation in the hands of the President.
2° Any other member of the Government may resign
from office by placing his re signation in the hands of the
Taoiseach for submission to the President.
3° The President shall accept the resignation of a
member of the Government, other than the Taoiseach,
if so advised by the Taoiseach.
4° The Taoiseach may at any time, for reasons which to
him seem sufficient, request a member of the
Government to resign; should the member concerned
fail to comply with the request, his appointment shall be
terminated by the President if the Taoiseach so advises.
10. The Taoiseach shall resign from office upon his ceasing
to retain the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann unless on
his advice the President dissolves Dáil Éireann and on the
reassembly of Dáil Éireann afte r the dissolution the Taoiseach
secures the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann.
11. 1° If the Taoiseach at any time resigns from office the other
members of the Government shall be deemed also to have
resigned from office, but the Taoiseach and the other
members of the Government sha ll continue to carry on their
duties until their successors shall have been appointed.
2° The members of the Governme nt in office at the date
of a dissolution of Dáil Éire ann shall continue to hold
office until their successors shall have been appointed.
12. The following matters shall be regulated in accordance
with law, namely, the organization of, and distribution of
business amongst, Departments of State, the designation of
members of the Government to be the Ministers in charge of
the said Departments, the disch arge of the functions of the
office of a member of the Government during his temporary
absence or incapacity, and the remuneration of the members
of the Government.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
LOCAL GOVERNMENT
Article 28A
1. The State recognises the role of local government in providing
a forum for the democratic representation of local
communities, in exercising and performing at local level
powers and functions conferred by law and in promoting by its
initiatives the interest s of such communities.
2. There shall be such directly elected local authorities as may
be determined by law and their powers and functions shall,
subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be so
determined and shall be exercised and performed in
accordance with law.
3. Elections for members of such lo cal authorities shall be held in
accordance with law not later th an the end of the fifth year
after the year in which they were last held.
4. Every citizen who has the right to vote at an election for
members of Dáil Éireann and su ch other persons as may be
determined by law shall have the right to vote at an election
for members of such of the local authorities referred to in
section 2 of this Article as shall be determined by law.
5. Casual vacancies in the membership of local authorities
referred to in section 2 of this Article shall be filled in
accordance with law.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Article 29
1. Ireland affirms its devotion to the ideal of peace and friendly
co-operation amongst nations founded on international
justice and morality.
2. Ireland affirms its adherence to the principle of the pacific
settlement of international disputes by international
arbitration or judicial determination.
3. Ireland accepts the generally recognised principles of international law as its rule of conduct in its relations with
other States.
4. 1° The executive power of the State in or in connection with
its external relations shall in accordance with Article 28
of this Constitution be exercised by or on the authority of the
Government.
2° For the purpose of the exercise of any executive
function of the State in or in connection with its external
relations, the Government may to such extent and
subject to such conditions, if any, as may be
determined by law, avail of or adopt any organ,
instrument, or method of procedure used or adopted for
the like purpose by the member s of any group or league
of nations with which the State is or becomes associated
for the purpose of international co-operation in matters
of common concern.
3° The State may become a member of the European
Coal and Steel Community (established by Treaty
signed at Paris on the 18th day of April, 1951), the
European Economic Community (established by Treaty
signed at Rome on the 25t h day of March, 1957) and
the European Atomic Energy Community (established by
Treaty signed at Rome on the 25th day of March, 1957).
The State may ratify the Single European Act (signed on
behalf of the Member Stat es of the Communities at
Luxembourg on the 17th day of February, 1986, and at
the Hague on the 28th day of February, 1986).
4° The State may ratify the Treaty on European Union
signed at Maastricht on th e 7th day of February, 1992,
and may become a member of that Union.
5° The State may ratify the Treaty of Amsterdam
amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
establishing the European Communities and certain
related Acts signed at Amsterdam on the 2nd day of
October, 1997.
6° The State may exercise the options or discretions
provided by or under Articles 1.11, 2.5 and 2.15 of the
Treaty referred to in subsecti on 5° of this section and
the second and fourth Protocols set out in the said
Treaty but any such exercise shall be subject to the
prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas.
7° The State may ratify the Tr eaty of Nice amending the
Treaty on European Union, th e Treaties establishing the
European Communities and certain related Acts signed
at Nice on the 26
th day of February, 2001.
8° The State may exercise the options or discretions
provided by or under Articles 1.6, 1.9, 1.11, 1.12, 1.13
and 2.1 of the Treaty referred to in subsection 7° of this
section but any such exercise shall be subject to the
prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas.
9° The State shall not adopt a decision taken by the
European Council to establish a common defence
pursuant to Article 1.2 of the Treaty referred to in
subsection 7° of this section where that common
defence would include the State.
10° No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws
enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State
which are necessitated by the obligations of
membership of the Euro pean Union or of the
Communities, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or
measures adopted by the European Union or by the
Communities or by institutio ns thereof, or by bodies
competent under the Treaties establishing the
Communities, from having the force of law in the State.
11° The State may ratify the Agreement relating to
Community Patents drawn up between the Member
States of the Communities and done at Luxembourg on
the 15th day of December, 1989.
5. 1° Every international agreement to which the State becomes a party shall be laid before Dáil Éireann.
2° The State shall not be bound by any international
agreement involving a charge upon public funds unless
the terms of the agreement shall have been approved
by Dáil Éireann.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
3° This section shall not apply to agreements or
conventions of a technical and adminstrative character.
6. No international agreement shall be part of the domestic law
of the State save as may be determined by the
Oireachtas.
7. 1° The State may consent to be bound by the British-Irish
Agreement done at Belfast on the 10th day of April, 1998,
hereinafter called the Agreement.
2° Any institution established by or under the Agreement may
exercise the powers and functions thereby conferred
on it in respect of all or any part of the island of Ireland
notwithstanding any other prov ision of this Constitution
conferring a like power or func tion on any person or any
organ of State appointed under or created or established by
or under this Constitution. Any power or function conferred on
such an institution in rela tion to the settlement or
resolution of disputes or controversies may be in addition to
or in substitution for any lik e power or function conferred
by this Constitution on any such person or organ of State as
aforesaid.
8. The State may exercise extr a-territorial jurisdiction in
accordance with the generally recognised principles of
international law.
9. The State may ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court done at Rome on the 17 th day of July, 1998.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Article 30

1. There shall be an Attorney General who shall be the adviser of
the Government in matters of law and legal opinion, and shall
exercise and perform all such powers, functions and duties as
are conferred or imposed on him by this Constitution or by
law.
2. The Attorney General shall be appointed by the President on the nomination of the Taoiseach.
3. All crimes and offences pros ecuted in any court constituted
under Article 34 of this Consti tution other than a court of
summary jurisdiction shall be prosecuted in the name of the
People and at the suit of the Attorney General or some other
person authorised in accordan ce with law to act for that
purpose.
4. The Attorney General shall not be a member of the
Government.
5. 1° The Attorney General may at any time resign from office
by placing his resignation in the hands of the Taoiseach for
submission to the President.
2° The Taoiseach may, for reasons which to him seem
sufficient, request the resignation of the Attorney
General.
3° In the event of failure to comply with the request,
the appointment of the Attorney General shall be
terminated by the President if the Taoiseach so advises.
4° The Attorney General shall retire from office upon the
resignation of the Taoiseach, but may continue to carry
on his duties until the successor to the Taoiseach shall
have been appointed.
6. Subject to the foregoing provisions of this Article, the office of
Attorney General, including the remuneration to be paid to
the holder of the office, sh all be regulated by law.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE COUNCIL OF STATE

Article 31
1. There shall be a Council of State to aid and counsel the
President on all matters on which the President may consult
the said Council in relation to the exercise and performance
by him of such of his powers and functions as are by this
Constitution expressed to be exercisable and performable
after consultation with the Council of State, and to exercise
such other functions as are co nferred on the said Council by
this Constitution.
2. The Council of State shall consist of the following members:
i. As ex-officio members: the Taoiseach, the
Tánaiste, the Chief Justice, the President of the
High Court, the Chairman of Dáil Éireann, the
Chairman of Seanad Éire ann, and the Attorney
General.
ii. Every person able and willing to act as a member
of the Council of State who shall have held the
office of President, or th e office of Taoiseach, or
the office of Chief Just ice, or the office of
President of the Executive Council of Saorstát
Éireann.
iii. Such other persons, if any, as may be appointed
by the President under this Article to be members
of the Council of State.
3. The President may at any time and from time to time by warrant under his hand and Seal appoint such other persons
as, in his absolute discretion, he may think fit, to be members
of the Council of State, but not more than seven persons so
appointed shall be members of the Council of State at the
same time.
4. Every member of the Council of State shall at the first
meeting thereof which he attends as a member take and
subscribe a declaration in the following form:
“In the presence of Almighty God I, ,
do solemnly and sincerely promise and
declare that I will faithfully and
conscientiously fulfil my duties as a member
of the Council of State.”

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
5. Every member of the Council of State appointed by the
President, unless he dies, resigns, becomes permanently
incapacitated, or is removed from office, shall hold office until
the successor of the President by whom he was appointed
shall have entered upon his office.
6. Any member of the Council of State appointed by the President may resign from office by placing his resignation in
the hands of the President.
7. The President may, for reasons which to him seem sufficient, by an order under his hand and Seal, terminate the
appointment of any member of the Council of State appointed
by him.
8. Meetings of the Council of State may be convened by the
President at such times and plac es as he shall determine.
Article 32
The President shall not exercise or perform any of the
powers or functions which are by this Constitution
expressed to be exercisable or performable by him after
consultation with the Council of State unless, and on
every occasion before so doing, he shall have convened
a meeting of the Council of State and the members
present at such meeting shall have been heard by him.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE COMPTROLLER AND AUDITOR GENERAL
Article 33
1. There shall be a Comptroller and Auditor General to control on
behalf of the State all disburse ments and to audit all accounts
of moneys administered by or under the authority of the
Oireachtas.
2. The Comptroller and Auditor General shall be appointed by
the President on the nomination of Dáil Éireann.
3. The Comptroller and Auditor Ge neral shall not be a member of
either House of the Oireachtas and shall not hold any other
office or position of emolument.
4. The Comptroller and Auditor General shall report to Dáil
Éireann at stated periods as determined by law.
5. 1° The Comptroller and Audito r General shall not be removed
from office except for stated misbehaviour or incapacity, and
then only upon resolutions passed by Dáil Éireann and by
Seanad Éireann calling for his removal.
2° The Taoiseach shall duly notify the President of any
such resolutions as aforesaid passed by Dáil Éireann and
by Seanad Éireann and shall send him a copy of each
such resolution certified by the Chairman of the House
of the Oireachtas by which it shall have been passed.
3° Upon receipt of such noti fication and of copies of
such resolutions, the Presid ent shall forthwith, by an
order under his hand and Seal, remove the Comptroller
and Auditor General from office.
6. Subject to the foregoing, th e terms and conditions of the
office of Comptroller and Audito r General shall be determined
by law.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE COURTS
Article 34
1. Justice shall be administered in courts established by law by
judges appointed in the manner pr ovided by this Constitution,
and, save in such special and limited cases as may be
prescribed by law, shall be administered in public.
2. The Courts shall comprise Courts of First Instance and a Court
of Final Appeal.
3. 1° The Courts of First Instance shall include a High Court invested with full original jurisdiction in and power to
determine all matters and questi ons whether of law or fact,
civil or criminal.
2° Save as otherwise provided by this Article, the
jurisdiction of the High Court shall extend to the
question of the validity of any law having regard to the
provisions of this Constitution, and no such question
shall be raised (whether by pleading, argument or
otherwise) in any Court esta blished under this or any
other Article of this Consti tution other than the High
Court or the Supreme Court.
3° No Court whatever shall ha ve jurisdiction to question
the validity of a law, or any provision of a law, the Bill
for which shall have been referred to the Supreme Court
by the President under Article 26 of this Constitution, or
to question the validity of a provision of a law where the
corresponding provision in the Bill for such law shall
have been referred to the Supreme Court by the
President under the said Article 26.
4° The Courts of First Instance shall also include Courts
of local and limited jurisdiction with a right of appeal as
determined by law.
4. 1° The Court of Final Appeal shall be called the Supreme
Court.
2° The president of the Supreme Court shall be called
the Chief Justice.
3° The Supreme Court shall, with such exceptions and
subject to such regulations as may be prescribed by
law, have appellate jurisdicti on from all decisions of the
High Court, and shall also have appellate jurisdiction

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
from such decisions of other courts as may be
prescribed by law.
4° No law shall be enacted excepting from the appellate
jurisdiction of the Supreme Court cases which involve
questions as to the validity of any law having regard to
the provisions of this Constitution.
5° The decision of the Supr eme Court on a question as
to the validity of a law having regard to the provisions
of this Constitution shall be pronounced by such one of
the judges of that Court as that Court shall direct, and
no other opinion on such qu estion, whether assenting or
dissenting, shall be pronounced, nor shall the existence
of any such other op inion be disclosed.
6° The decision of the Supreme Court shall in all cases
be final and conclusive.
5. 1° Every person appointed a judge under this Constitution
shall make and subscribe the following declaration:
“In the presence of Almigh ty God I, , do
solemnly and sincerely promise and declare
that I will duly and faithfully and to the best
of my knowledge and power execute the
office of Chief Justice ( or as the case may
be ) without fear or fa vour, affection or ill-
will towards any man, and that I will uphold
the Constitution and the laws. May God
direct and sustain me.”
2° This declaration shall be made and subscribed by the
Chief Justice in the presence of the President, and by
each of the other judges of the Supreme Court, the
judges of the High Court and the judges of every other
Court in the presence of the Chief Justice or the senior
available judge of the Supreme Court in open court.
3° The declaration shall be made and subscribed by
every judge before entering upon his duties as such
judge, and in any case not later than ten days after the
date of his appointment or such later date as may be
determined by the President.
4° Any judge who declines or neglects to make such
declaration as aforesaid shall be deemed to have
vacated his office.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN

Article 35

1. The judges of the Supreme Co urt, the High Court and all
other Courts established in pursuance of Article 34 hereof
shall be appointed by the President.
2. All judges shall be independent in the exercise of their judicial
functions and subject only to th is Constitution and the law.
3. No judge shall be eligible to be a member of either House of
the Oireachtas or to hold any other office or position of
emolument.
4. 1° A judge of the Supreme Co urt or the High Court shall not
be removed from office except for stated misbehaviour or
incapacity, and then only upon resolutions passed by Dáil
Éireann and by Seanad Éireann calling for his removal.
2° The Taoiseach shall duly notify the President of any
such resolutions passed by Dáil Éireann and by Seanad
Éireann, and shall send him a copy of every such
resolution certified by the Ch airman of the House of the
Oireachtas by which it shall have been passed.
3° Upon receipt of such noti fication and of copies of
such resolutions, the Presid ent shall forthwith, by an
order under his hand and Seal, remove from office the
judge to whom they relate.
5. The remuneration of a judge shall not be reduced during his continuance in office.

Article 36

Subject to the foregoing provisions of this Constitution relating to
the Courts, the following matters shall be regulated in accordance
with law, that is to say:
i. the number of judges of the Supreme Court, and of the High Court, the remuneration, age of
retirement and pensions of such judges,
ii. the number of the judge s of all other Courts, and
their terms of appointment, and
iii. the constitution and organization of the said Courts, the distribution of jurisdiction and
business among the said Courts and judges, and
all matters of procedure.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN

Article 37

1. Nothing in this Constitution shall operate to invalidate the
exercise of limited functions an d powers of a judicial nature,
in matters other than criminal matters, by any person or body
of persons duly authorised by law to exercise such functions
and powers, notwithstanding that such person or such body of
persons is not a judge or a cour t appointed or established as
such under this Constitution.
2. No adoption of a person taking effect or expressed to take effect at any time after the coming into operation of this
Constitution under laws enacted by the Oireachtas and being
an adoption pursuant to an or der made or an authorisation
given by any person or body of persons designated by those
laws to exercise such function s and powers was or shall be
invalid by reason only of the fact that such person or body of
persons was not a judge or a co urt appointed or established
as such under this Constitution.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
TRIAL OF OFFENCES
Article 38
1. No person shall be tried on any criminal charge save in due
course of law.
2. Minor offences may be tried by courts of summary jurisdiction.
3. 1° Special courts may be esta blished by law for the trial of
offences in cases where it may be determined in accordance
with such law that the ordinary courts are inadequate to
secure the effective administ ration of justice, and the
preservation of public peace and order.
2° The constitution, powers, jurisdiction and procedure
of such special courts shall be prescribed by law.
4. 1° Military tribunals may be established for the trial of offences against military law a lleged to have been committed
by persons while subject to military law and also to deal with
a state of war or armed rebellion.
2° A member of the Defenc e Forces not on active
service shall not be tried by any courtmartial or other
military tribunal for an offence cognisable by the civil
courts unless such offence is within the jurisdiction of
any courtmartial or other military tribunal under any law
for the enforcement of military discipline.
5. Save in the case of the tria l of offences under section 2,
section 3 or section 4 of this Ar ticle no person shall be tried
on any criminal charge without a jury.
6. The provisions of Articles 34 and 35 of this Constitution shall
not apply to any court or tribunal set up under section 3 or
section 4 of this Article.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
Article 39
Treason shall consist only in levying war against the
State, or assisting any State or person or inciting or
conspiring with any person to levy war against the
State, or attempting by forc e of arms or other violent
means to overthrow the organs of government
established by this Constitution, or taking part or being
concerned in or inciting or co nspiring with any person to
make or to take part or be concerned in any such
attempt.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS
Personal Rights
Article 40
1. All citizens shall, as human persons, be held equal before the
law.
This shall not be held to mean that the State shall not in
its enactments have due regard to differences of
capacity, physical and moral, and of social function.
2. 1° Titles of nobility shall no t be conferred by the State.
2° No title of nobility or of honour may be accepted by
any citizen except with the prior approval of the
Government.
3. 1° The State guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as
practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate the personal
rights of the citizen.
2° The State shall, in partic ular, by its laws protect as
best it may from unjust attack and, in the case of
injustice done, vindicate th e life, person, good name,
and property rights of every citizen.
3° The State acknowledges the right to life of the
unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of
the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as
far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate
that right.
This subsection shall not limit freedom to travel
between the State and another state.
This subsection shall not lim it freedom to obtain or
make available, in the State, subject to such conditions
as may be laid down by law, information relating to
services lawfully available in another state.
4. 1° No citizen shall be deprived of his personal liberty save in
accordance with law.

2° Upon complaint being made by or on behalf of any person
to the High Court or any judge thereof alleging that such
person is being unlawfully de tained, the High Court and any
and every judge thereof to wh om such complaint is made
shall forthwith enquire into the said complaint and may order
the person in whose custody su ch person is detained to

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
produce the body of such person before the High Court on a
named day and to certify in writing the grounds of his
detention, and the High Court shall, upon the body of such
person being produced before that Court and after giving the
person in whose custody he is detained an opportunity of
justifying the detention, order th e release of such person from
such detention unless satisfied that he is being detained in
accordance with the law.
3° Where the body of a pers on alleged to be unlawfully
detained is produced before the High Court in pursuance
of an order in that behalf made under this section and
that Court is satisfied that such person is being detained
in accordance with a law but that such law is invalid
having regard to the provisio ns of this Constitution, the
High Court shall refer the question of the validity of
such law to the Supreme Court by way of case stated
and may, at the time of such reference or at any time
thereafter, allow the said person to be at liberty on such
bail and subject to such conditions as the High Court
shall fix until the Supreme Court has determined the
question so referred to it.
4° The High Court before which the body of a person
alleged to be unlawfully detained is to be produced in
pursuance of an order in that behalf made under this
section shall, if the President of the High Court or, if he
is not available, the senior judge of that Court who is
available so directs in respect of any particular case,
consist of three judges and sh all, in every other case,
consist of one judge only.
5° Nothing in this section, however, shall be invoked to
prohibit, control, or inte rfere with any act of the
Defence Forces during the exis tence of a state of war or
armed rebellion.

6° Provision may be made by law for the refusal of bail
by a court to a person charged with a serious offence
where it is reasonably considered necessary to prevent
the commission of a serious offence by that person.
5. The dwelling of every citizen is inviolable and shall not be
forcibly entered save in accordance with law.
6. 1° The State guarantees lib erty for the exercise of the
following rights, subject to public order and morality:

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
i. The right of the citizens to express freely their
convictions and opinions.
The education of public opinion being,
however, a matter of such grave import to
the common good, the State shall
endeavour to ensure that organs of public
opinion, such as the radio, the press, the
cinema, while preserving their rightful
liberty of expression, including criticism of
Government policy, shall not be used to
undermine public order or morality or the
authority of the State.
The publication or utterance of
blasphemous, seditious, or indecent matter
is an offence which shall be punishable in
accordance with law.
ii. The right of the citizens to assemble peaceably and without arms.
Provision may be made by law to prevent or
control meetings which are determined in
accordance with law to be calculated to
cause a breach of the peace or to be a
danger or nuisance to the general public and
to prevent or control meetings in the vicinity
of either House of the Oireachtas.
iii. The right of the citizens to form associations and
unions.
Laws, however, may be enacted for the
regulation and control in the public interest
of the exercise of the foregoing right.
2° Laws regulating the mann er in which the right of
forming associations and unions and the right of free
assembly may be exercised shall contain no political,
religious or class discrimination.
The Family
Article 41
1. 1° The State recognises the Fa mily as the natural primary and
fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution
possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent
and superior to all positive law.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
2° The State, therefore, guarantees to protect the
Family in its constitution an d authority, as the necessary
basis of social order and as indispensable to the welfare
of the Nation and the State.
2. 1° In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which
the common good cannot be achieved.
2° The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that
mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to
engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the
home.
3. 1° The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on whic h the Family is founded, and to
protect it against attack.
2° A Court designated by law may grant a dissolution of
marriage where, but only where, it is satisfied that
i. at the date of the institution of the proceedings, the spouses have lived
apart from one another for a period
of, or periods amounting to, at least
four years during the five years,
ii. there is no reasonable prospect of a reconciliation between the spouses,
iii. such provision as the Court considers proper having regard to the
circumstances exists or will be made
for the spouses, any children of either
or both of them and any other person
prescribed by law, and
iv. any further conditions prescribed by law are complied with.
3° No person whose marriage has been dissolved under
the civil law of any other State but is a subsisting valid
marriage under the law for the time being in force
within the jurisdiction of the Government and
Parliament established by this Constitution shall be
capable of contracting a valid marriage within that
jurisdiction during the lifetime of the other party to the
marriage so dissolved.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN

Education
Article 42
1. The State acknowledges that the primary and natural
educator of the child is the Family and guarantees to respect
the inalienable right and duty of parents to provide, according
to their means, for the religio us and moral, intellectual,
physical and social education of their children.
2. Parents shall be free to prov ide this education in their homes
or in private schools or in schools recognised or established by
the State.
3. 1° The State shall not oblige parents in violation of their conscience and lawful preferen ce to send their children to
schools established by the State, or to any particular type of
school designated by the State.
2° The State shall, however, as guardian of the common
good, require in view of actual conditions that the
children receive a certain minimum education, moral,
intellectual and social.
4. The State shall provide for free primary education and shall endeavour to supplement and give reasonable aid to private
and corporate educational initia tive, and, when the public
good requires it, provide othe r educational facilities or
institutions with due regard, however, for the rights of
parents, especially in the ma tter of religious and moral
formation.
5. In exceptional cases, where th e parents for physical or moral
reasons fail in their duty toward s their children, the State as
guardian of the common good, by appropriate means shall
endeavour to supply the place of the parents, but always with
due regard for the natural and imprescriptible rights of the
child.
Private Property
Article 43
1. 1° The State acknowledges that man, in virtue of his rational
being, has the natural right, ante cedent to positive law, to the
private ownership of external goods.
2° The State accordingly guarantees to pass no law
attempting to abolish the right of private ownership or

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
the general right to transfer, bequeath, and inherit
property.
2. 1° The State recognises, however, that the exercise of the
rights mentioned in the foregoin g provisions of this Article
ought, in civil society, to be regulated by the principles of
social justice.
2° The State, accordingly, may as occasion requires
delimit by law the exercise of the said rights with a view
to reconciling their exercise with the exigencies of the
common good.

Religion
Article 44
1. The State acknowledges that th e homage of public worship is
due to Almighty God. It shall hold His Name in reverence, and
shall respect and honour religion.
2. 1° Freedom of conscience and the free profession and practice
of religion are, subject to public order and morality,
guaranteed to every citizen.
2° The State guarantees not to endow any religion.
3° The State shall not impose any disabilities or make
any discrimination on the gro und of religious profession,
belief or status.
4° Legislation providing State aid for schools shall not
discriminate between schools under the management of
different religious denominations, nor be such as to
affect prejudicially the righ t of any child to attend a
school receiving public money without attending
religious instruction at that school.

5° Every religious denominati on shall have the right to
manage its own affairs, own, acquire and administer
property, movable and immovable, and maintain
institutions for religious or charitable purposes.
6° The property of any relig ious denomination or any
educational institution shall not be diverted save for
necessary works of public utility and on payment of
compensation.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
DIRECTIVE PRINCIPLES OF SOCIAL POLICY
Article 45
The principles of social policy set forth in this Article are intended
for the general guidance of the Oi reachtas. The application of those
principles in the making of laws sh all be the care of the Oireachtas
exclusively, and shall not be cogn isable by any Court under any of
the provisions of this Constitution.
1. The State shall strive to pr omote the welfare of the whole
people by securing and protecting as effectively as it may a
social order in which justice an d charity shall inform all the
institutions of the national life.
2. The State shall, in particular, direct its policy towards
securing:
i. That the citizens (all of whom, men and women equally, have the right to an adequate means of
livelihood) may through their occupations find the
means of making reasonab le provision for their
domestic needs.
ii. That the ownership and control of the material
resources of the community may be so distributed
amongst private indivi duals and the various
classes as best to subserve the common good.
iii. That, especially, the operation of free competition
shall not be allowed so to develop as to result in
the concentration of the ownership or control of
essential commodities in a few individuals to the
common detriment.
iv. That in what pertains to the control of credit the
constant and predominant aim shall be the
welfare of the people as a whole.
v. That there may be established on the land in economic security as ma ny families as in the
circumstances shall be practicable.
3. 1° The State shall favour and, where necessary, supplement
private initiative in industry and commerce.
2° The State shall endeavou r to secure that private
enterprise shall be so conducted as to ensure
reasonable efficiency in the production and distribution

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
of goods and as to protect the public against unjust
exploitation.
4. 1° The State pledges itself to safeguard with especial care the
economic interests of the weak er sections of the community,
and, where necessary, to contri bute to the support of the
infirm, the widow, the orphan, and the aged.
2° The State shall endeavour to ensure that the
strength and health of workers, men and women, and
the tender age of children shall not be abused and that
citizens shall not be forced by economic necessity to
enter avocations unsuited to their sex, age or strength.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION
Article 46
1. Any provision of this Constitution may be amended, whether
by way of variation, addition, or repeal, in the manner
provided by this Article.
2. Every proposal for an amendment of this Constitution shall be
initiated in Dáil Éireann as a Bill, and shall upon having been
passed or deemed to have been passed by both Houses of the
Oireachtas, be submitted by Referendum to the decision of
the people in accordance with the law for the time being in
force relating to the Referendum.
3. Every such Bill shall be expre ssed to be “An Act to amend the
Constitution”.
4. A Bill containing a proposal or proposals for the amendment of
this Constitution shall not contain any other proposal.
5. A Bill containing a proposal for the amendment of this
Constitution shall be signed by the President forthwith upon
his being satisfied that the provis ions of this Article have been
complied with in respect thereo f and that such proposal has
been duly approved by the pe ople in accordance with the
provisions of section 1 of Article 47 of this Constitution and
shall be duly promulgated by the President as a law.

CONSTITUTI ON OF I RELAND – BU NRE ACH T NA hÉI REANN
THE REFERENDUM
Article 47
1. Every proposal for an amendment of this Constitution which is
submitted by Referendum to the decision of the people shall,
for the purpose of Article 46 of this Constitution, be held to
have been approved by the peop le, if, upon having been so
submitted, a majority of the vo tes cast at such Referendum
shall have been cast in favour of its enactment into law.
2. 1° Every proposal, other than a proposal to amend the
Constitution, which is submitted by Referendum to the
decision of the people shall be held to have been vetoed by
the people if a majority of the votes cast at such Referendum
shall have been cast against its enactment into law and if the
votes so cast against its enactment into law shall have
amounted to not less than thir ty-three and one-third per cent.
of the voters on the register.
2° Every proposal, other than a proposal to amend the
Constitution, which is submitted by Referendum to the
decision of the people shall for the purposes of Article
27 hereof be held to have been approved by the people
unless vetoed by them in acco rdance with the provisions
of the foregoing sub-section of this section.
3. Every citizen who has the right to vote at an election for members of Dáil Éireann shall ha ve the right to vote at a
Referendum.
4. Subject as aforesaid, the Re ferendum shall be regulated by
law.

CONSTITUTION OF IRELAND – BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN
Repeal of Constitution of Saorstát Éireann
and Continuance of Laws
Article 48
The Constitution of Saorstát Éire ann in force immediately prior to
the date of the coming into operat ion of this Constitution and the
Constitution of the Irish Free Stat e (Saorstát Éireann) Act, 1922, in
so far as that Act or any provision thereof is then in force shall be
and are hereby repealed as on and from that date.
Article 49
1. All powers, functions, rights and prerogatives whatsoever
exercisable in or in respect of Saorstát Éireann immediately
before the 11th day of December, 1936, whether in virtue of
the Constitution then in force or otherwise, by the authority in
which the executive power of Saorstát Éireann was then
vested are hereby declared to belong to the people.
2. It is hereby enacted that, save to the extent to which
provision is made by this Cons titution or may hereafter be
made by law for the exercise of any such power, function,
right or prerogative by any of the organs established by this
Constitution, the said powers, functions, rights and
prerogatives shall not be exer cised or be capable of being
exercised in or in respect of the State save only by or on the
authority of the Government.
3. The Government shall be the successors of the Government of
Saorstát Éireann as regards a ll property, assets, rights and
liabilities.
Article 50
1. Subject to this Constitution and to the extent to which they
are not inconsistent therewith, the laws in force in Saorstát
Éireann immediately prior to the date of the coming into
operation of this Constitution sh all continue to be of full force
and effect until the same or an y of them shall have been
repealed or amended by enactment of the Oireachtas.
2. Laws enacted before, but expre ssed to come into force after,
the coming into operation of this Constitution, shall, unless
otherwise enacted by the Oireachtas, come into force in
accordance with the terms thereof.
Dochum Glóire Dé agus
Onóra na hÉireann