God or other deities
In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,
Source of constitutional authority
We, the people of Éire,
God or other deities
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,
Motives for writing constitution
Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation,
Motives for writing constitution, Human dignity
And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,
Source of constitutional authority
Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.
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.
Requirements for birthright citizenship
It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which 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.
- 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 Ireland, in all the diversity of their identities and traditions, recognising 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 jurisdictions 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 coming into operation of this Constitution.
- 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.
The name of the State is Éire, or, in the English language, Ireland.
Type of government envisioned
Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state.
God or other deities
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.
- These powers of government are exercisable only by or on the authority of the organs of State established by this Constitution.
The national flag is the tricolour of green, white and orange.
Official or national languages
- The Irish language as the national language is the first official language.
- The English language is recognised as a second official language.
- Provision may, however, be made by law for the exclusive use of either of the said languages for any one or more official purposes, either throughout the State or in any part thereof.
Requirements for birthright citizenship
- On the coming into operation of this Constitution any person who was a citizen of Saorstát Éireann immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution shall become and be a citizen of Ireland.
Conditions for revoking citizenship, Requirements for naturalization
The future acquisition and loss of Irish nationality and citizenship shall be determined in accordance with law.
- No person may be excluded from Irish nationality and citizenship by reason of the sex of such person.
- Notwithstanding any other provision of this Constitution, a person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, who does not have, at the time of the birth of that person, at least one parent who is an Irish citizen or entitled to be an Irish citizen is not entitled to Irish citizenship or nationality, unless provided for by law.
- This section shall not apply to persons born before the date of the enactment of this section,
- Fidelity to the nation and loyalty to the State are fundamental political duties of all citizens.
Ownership of natural resources
- All natural resources, including 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.
- All land and all mines, minerals and waters which belonged to Saorstát Éireann immediately before the coming into operation of this Constitution belong to the State to the same extent as they then belonged to Saorstát Éireann.
- Provision may be made by law for the management of the property which belongs to the State by virtue of this Article and for the control of the alienation, whether temporary or permanent, of that property.
- 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, whether temporary or permanent, of the land, mines, minerals and waters so acquired.
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.
Establishment of cabinet/ministers
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.
- The executive power of the State shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be exercised by or on the authority of the Government.
Power to declare/approve war
War shall not be declared and the State shall not participate in any war save with the assent of Dáil Éireann.
In the case of actual invasion, however, the Government may take whatever steps they may consider necessary for the protection of the State, and Dáil Éireann if not sitting shall be summoned to meet at the earliest practicable date.
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 subsection 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 rebellion 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.
Legislative oversight of the executive
The Government shall be responsible to Dáil Éireann.
The Government shall meet and act as a collective authority, and shall be collectively responsible for the Departments of State administered by the members of the Government.
- The confidentiality of discussions 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
- in the interests of the administration of justice by a Court, or
- 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.
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.
Name/structure of executive(s)
The head of the Government, or Prime Minister, shall be called, and is in this Constitution referred to as, the Taoiseach.
- The Taoiseach shall keep the President generally informed on matters of domestic and international policy.
- The Taoiseach shall nominate a member of the Government to be the Tánaiste.
Head of government replacement
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.
- The Tánaiste shall also act for or in the place of the Taoiseach during the temporary absence of the Taoiseach.
Eligibility for cabinet
Head of government's role in the legislature
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.
- The other members of the Government must be members of Dáil Éireann or Seanad Éireann, but not more than two may be members of Seanad Éireann.
- Every member of the Government shall have the right to attend and be heard in each House of the Oireachtas.
- The Taoiseach may resign from office at any time by placing his resignation in the hands of the President.
- Any other member of the Government may resign from office by placing his resignation in the hands of the Taoiseach for submission to the President.
- The President shall accept the resignation of a member of the Government, other than the Taoiseach, if so advised by the Taoiseach.
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.
Head of government removal, Dismissal of the legislature
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 after the dissolution the Taoiseach secures the support of a majority in Dáil Éireann.
- 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 shall continue to carry on their duties until their successors shall have been appointed.
- The members of the Government in office at the date of a dissolution of Dáil Éireann shall continue to hold office until their successors shall have been appointed.
- 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 discharge 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.
International law, Treaty ratification
- Ireland affirms its devotion to the ideal of peace and friendly co-operation amongst nations founded on international justice and morality.
- Ireland affirms its adherence to the principle of the pacific settlement of international disputes by international arbitration or judicial determination.
Customary international law
Ireland accepts the generally recognised principles of international law as its rule of conduct in its relations with other States.
International organizations, Regional group(s)
Foreign affairs representative
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.
- 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 members 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.
- The State may become a member of the European Atomic Energy Community (established by Treaty signed at Rome on the 25th day of March, 1957).
- Ireland affirms its commitment to the European Union within which the member states of that Union work together to promote peace, shared values and the well-being of their peoples.
- The State may ratify the Treaty of Lisbon amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, signed at Lisbon on the 13th day of December 2007 (Treaty of Lisbon), and may be a member of the European Union established by virtue of that Treaty.
- No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State, before, on or after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, that are necessitated by the obligations of membership of the European Union referred to in subsection 5° of this section or of the European Atomic Energy Community, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by
- the said European Union or the European Atomic Energy Community, or institutions thereof,
- the European Communities or European Union existing immediately before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, or institutions thereof, or
- bodies competent under the treaties referred to in this section,
from having the force of law in the State.
- State may exercise the options or discretions
- to which Article 20 of the Treaty on European Union relating to enhanced cooperation applies,
- under Protocol No. 19 on the Schengen acquis integrated into the framework of the European Union annexed to that treaty and to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (formerly known as the Treaty establishing the European Community), and
- under Protocol No. 21 on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland in respect of the area of freedom, security and justice, so annexed, including the option that the said Protocol No. 21 shall, in whole or in part, cease to apply to the State,
but any such exercise shall be subject to the prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas.
- The State may agree to the decisions, regulations or other acts
- under the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union authorising the Council of the European Union to act other than by unanimity,
- under those treaties authorising the adoption of the ordinary legislative procedure, and
- under subparagraph (d) of Article 82.2, the third subparagraph of Article 83.1 and paragraphs 1 and 4 of Article 86 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, relating to the area of freedom, security and justice,
but the agreement to any such decision, regulation or act shall be subject to the prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas.
- The State shall not adopt a decision taken by the European Council to establish a common defence pursuant to Article 42 of the Treaty on European Union where that common defence would include the State.
- The State may ratify the Treaty on Stability, Coordination and Governance in the Economic and Monetary Union done at Brussels on the 2nd day of March 2012. No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State that are necessitated by the obligations of the State under that Treaty or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by bodies competent under that Treaty from having the force of law in the State.
- Every international agreement to which the State becomes a party shall be laid before Dáil Éireann.
- 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.
- This section shall not apply to agreements or conventions of a technical and administrative character.
Legal status of treaties
No international agreement shall be part of the domestic law of the State save as may be determined by the Oireachtas.
- 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.
- 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 provision of this Constitution conferring a like power or function 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 relation to the settlement or resolution of disputes or controversies may be in addition to or in substitution for any like power or function conferred by this Constitution on any such person or organ of State as aforesaid.
Customary international law
The State may exercise extra-territorial jurisdiction in accordance with the generally recognised principles of international law.
- The State may ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court done at Rome on the 17th day of July, 1998.
Advisory bodies to the head of state
THE COUNCIL OF STATE
- 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 conferred on the said Council by this Constitution.
- The Council of State shall consist of the following members:
- As ex-officio members: the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, the Chief Justice, the President of the Court of Appeal, the President of the High Court, the Chairman of Dáil Éireann, the Chairman of Seanad Éireann, and the Attorney General.
- Every person able and willing to act as a member of the Council of State who shall have held the office of President, or the office of Taoiseach, or the office of Chief Justice, or the office of President of the Executive Council of Saorstát Éireann.
- Such other persons, if any, as may be appointed by the President under this Article to be members of the Council of State.
- 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.
God or other deities
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."
- Every member of the Council of State appointed by the President, unless he previously 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Meetings of the Council of State may be convened by the President at such times and places as he shall determine.
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.
Constitution amendment procedure
AMENDMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION
- Any provision of this Constitution may be amended, whether by way of variation, addition, or repeal, in the manner provided by this Article.
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.
- Every such Bill shall be expressed to be An Act to amend the Constitution.
- A Bill containing a proposal or proposals for the amendment of this Constitution shall not contain any other proposal.
- A Bill containing a proposal for the amendment of this Constitution shall be signed by the President forthwith upon his being satisfied that the provisions of this Article have been complied with in respect thereof and that such proposal has been duly approved by the people 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.