Legislation & the role of the President (Republic of Ireland)

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The President of Ireland and legislation


Legislation in Ireland (such as for example the National Monuments Amendment Bill 2004  or  Waste Management Amendment Act 2002), starts life as a Bill, which passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas (the Irish parliament).

Every Bill must be signed by the Irish President before it can become law in Ireland. As soon as the Bill has been passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas, it is presented to the President for signature.

A Bill must be signed on the 5th, 6th or 7th day after it has been presented to the President. However, if the Seanad agrees, the Government may request that the Bill be signed sooner.

When a Bill has been presented to the President, he or she has the power to refer it to the Supreme Court within 7 days. This power is exercised by the President when there is doubt as to whether the Bill is constitutional. He or she must first consult with the Council of State but the decision to refer the Bill is the President's alone.

If a Bill is referred to the Supreme Court, it must decide whether or not the Bill conflicts with the Constitution. If the Supreme Court holds that the Bill is unconstitutional, the President cannot sign it.

Once a Bill has been signed, the President must then publish a notice in Iris Oifiguil (the official State gazette) stating that the Bill has become law.

If the Government wishes to change or amend the Constitution, a Bill must be passed by both Houses of the Oireachtas to amend the Constitution. The Irish people must then approve the Bill in a constitutional referendum.

Once the Bill has been approved by the people in a referendum, the President must then sign the Bill so that the Constitution can be amended.

The President has two additional powers in relation to legislation that have never been exercised.

He or she may refuse to sign a Bill if a majority of the members of the Seanad and at least one-third of the members of the DŠil petition him or her not to sign the Bill. The President must consult with the Council of State before deciding within 6 days whether or not to sign the Bill.

The President also has a power in relation to possible Money Bills. The Seanad has less power in relation to Money Bills. If a conflict arises between the DŠil and the Seanad as to whether or not a particular Bill is a Money Bill, the Seanad may ask the President to refer the question to a Committee of Privileges. The President must consult with the Council of State before he or she decides whether or not to refer it.


The above information has been copied from the  http://www.oasis.gov.ie web site, and it is located at the following page address:

What can be done about unconstitutional legislation which is already in place?   Please see:


Yahoo! Groups Links


Bunreacht na hireann

Constitution of Ireland:

People who are unfamiliar with Celtic languages may be interested to know that the above word  "Bunreacht"  is a composite of the two Celtic words  "bun"  and  "reacht"  : meaning  "primary"  and  "law"  respectively.  (The Celtic words "na h…ireann" simply mean "of Ireland".)

Google Listings on the
Primary Law of the Republic of Ireland:



Houses of the Oireachtas (Legislature) Debates

National Monuments (Amendment) Bill 2004



Oireachtas members informed regarding possible violation of Constitution


Background information on local environmental problems in the  New Inn
and  Kilconnell  areas of County Galway can be found
 at any of the 4 sites listed below:






Aarhus Convention Agreement
Basic Information


  Contacting the President (Mrs Mary McAleese):




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