Tag Archives: Referendum


“Eamon Gilmore, leader of the Irish Labour party, said he hoped the cabinet would decide on Tuesday to set a date for a national vote on endorsing full equality for same-sex marriages. Gilmore said it would be “important to win this referendum” which could be held as early as mid 2014.”

Irish deputy PM pushes for gay marriage referendum date (Henry McDonald, Guardian)

Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Refcount gallagherr

From RTÉ’s live tracker, head of the Political Science department at Trinity College Dublin, Dr Michael Gallagher comments on the count.

Previously: “Not good enough to save…not bad enough to abolish”

RTÉ live tracker

Early tallies show Seanad referendum vote to be close (Irish Times)

Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland




Brian Sammon writes:

Don’t think it was ever close. Compare with 2011, ‘don’t knows’ go no…


Dr Eoin Daly is a lecturer in the School of Law at University College Dublin.

He has written a piece on the Human Rights in Ireland blog, in the wake of the Anglo Tapes. His piece is in relation to recent calls for a referendum which would bestow greater powers on the Oireachtas to hold a banking inquiry.

He explains that an inquiry under current legislation would be bound by the Supreme Court’s 2001 Abbeylara judgement, which decided the Constitution gave no power to the Oireachtas to hold inquiries in which the findings could adversely affect private individuals.

He writes:

“The prohibition of inquiries pertaining to the conduct of “private” individuals seems odd given the enormous power such individuals can wield in our society, as has now so painfully been established.”

Given the broad consensus that our political system provides insufficient mechanisms for accountability and public scrutiny, the Abbeylara judgment now seems peculiarly inapt and misplaced. Therefore, in light of recent events there is a strong argument that a referendum should be held to reverse the judgment.

“This would create an explicit power for the Oireachtas to hold inquiries in accordance with legislation – including, crucially, the power to hold inquiries whose findings adversely affect the reputations of private individuals, albeit subject to certain protections.

“The 2011 referendum on Oireachtas inquiries would have had this effect had it passed. However, it was rejected partly because in addition to granting the Oireachtas an explicit inquiry jurisdiction – effectively reversing “Abbeylara” – it went further by implying that the inquiries could limit individuals’ ability to defend their rights of procedural fairness through access to judicial review proceedings.

“However there is no reason why a fresh, differently-worded amendment could address the narrower jurisdiction point yet while fully respecting the right of those adversely affected by inquiries to access the courts if necessary, as is currently the case in relation to all inquiry types. Although that may lead to further delays and costs, such is the inevitable price for protecting individuals’ constitutional rights.”

Dr Daly suggested the limits of a future inquiry could be removed by adding the following to Article 15 of the Constitution:

“The Houses of the Oireachtas may conduct public inquiries on matters of public interest in a manner regulated by law. Such inquiries may produce adverse findings concerning the conduct of individuals, whether in public employment or otherwise, subject to established rights of natural justice being respected.”

What say ye?

New focus needed In Oireachtas inquiries amendment (Dr Eoin Daly, Human Rights In Ireland)



Two solicitors tweeting their concerns regarding the Seanad referendum.

This changes everything/nothing.

Is there a constitutional expert in the Upper House?

Article 27?

Short version:

Article 27 allows a Seanad majority and 1/3 of the members of the Dail to jointly petition the President to refer a bill to referendum on the basis that the matter is of such national importance that the will of the people should be ascertained.

Long version:

27(click to enlarge).

Thanks Legal Coffee Drinker


The prospect of a legal challenge to the result remains in light of last week’s Supreme Court ruling that the State had misused public money on its information campaign.

Constitutional law expert Paul Anthony McDermott said if it could be proved that most people did not make up their minds until they received the Government literature and were influenced by it, a credible challenge might be brought.

But, he said, overturning a referendum result would be “a nuclear remedy”.

Prominent No vote campaigner Kathy Sinnott said she hoped there would be a voter willing to take the challenge.

“I will help them in any way I can. This referendum is unsafe in legal terms because the result does not represent a fair choice on behalf of the people. Rules were broken by the Government and they spent our money on a one-sided and misinformed campaign to ensure a Yes vote,” she said.

Piss-up. Brewery. Etc.

Size of No vote proves shock for Coalition (Stephen Collins, Mary Minihan, Irish Times)

(Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland)