Okay, as I created this nodeshell several months ago, I feel it is my duty to fill it, now that I have a copy of the document to hand.

Introduction: The constitution of Ireland, properly called Bunreacht na hÉireann (more on the language issue later), was written by Eamon de Valera in 1936 and adopted in a referendum by the citizens of the Irish Free State in 1937. It represents the culmination of de Valera's campaign of unilaterally severing all institutional links with Britain, and replacing the Free State with an independent country which eventually came to be known as the Republic of Ireland. De Valera intended his new country to include the six counties of Northern Ireland, but as he had no practical way of achieving this, he fudged the issue with a couple of contentious constitutional articles (2 and 3), which were eventually repealed in 1998, as part of the Good Friday Agreement.

Language: The document contains both English and Irish versions. I only intend to node the English version here, but it should be noted that the official version is that in the Irish language: in the case of a dispute arising out of an ambiguous translation, the Irish text is taken to be the definitive. As far as I'm aware, a major dispute of this kind has never arisen.

The articles: I've decided to node this article by article. As some of these are quite short, I am aware that I am opening myself to accusations of noding for numbers. However, it should make up no more than about 60 nodes, and some of the articles are indeed quite long. I considered doing it by heading, but some of the headings take in a very large amount of text. It is hoped that having a node for each article, coupled with the index on this node, will be the most convenient and logical format.

Constitution of Ireland

Enacted by the People 1st July, 1937

In operation as from 29th December, 1937

This text of the Constitution is a copy of the text enrolled on 27 May, 1999 pursuant to Article 25.5.2° except that:

the Transitory Provisions (Articles 51-63) are omitted as required by their terms; the Irish text has been altered so as to make it conform to modern standardized Irish; the twentieth amendment, enacted subsequent to enrolment, is incorporated; the new Articles 2 and 3 and the new section 8 in Article 29 are inserted pursuant to the provisions of the Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1998. Amendments effected since the Constitution was enacted in 1937 up to the time of printing of this edition (December 1999) are listed below.

Amending Acts


The Nation
Article 1, Article 2, Article 3

The State
Article 4, Article 5, Article 6, Article 7, Article 8, Article 9, Article 10, Article 11

The President
Article 12, Article 13, Article 14

The National Parliament

Constitution and Powers: Article 15
Dáil Éireann: Article 16, Article 17
Seanad Éireann: Article 18, Article 19
Legislation: Article 20
Money Bills: Article 21, Article 22
Time for Consideration of Bills: Article 23, Article 24
Signing and Promulgation of Laws: Article 25
Reference of Bills to the Supreme Court: Article 26
Reference of Bills to the People: Article 27

The Government
Article 28

Local Government
Article 28A

International Relations
Article 29

The Attorney General
Article 30

The Council of State
Article 31, Article 32

The Comptroller and Auditor General
Article 33

The Courts
Article 34, Article 35, Article 36, Article 37

Trial of Offences
Article 38, Article 39

Fundamental Rights

Personal Rights: Article 40
The Family: Article 41
Education: Article 42
Private Property: Article 43
Religion: Article 44

Directive Principles of Social Policy
Article 45

Amendment of the Constitution
Article 46

The Referendum
Article 47

Repeal of Constitution of Saorstát Éireann and Continuance of Laws
Article 48, Article 49, Article 50