The Irish Constitution

The first and most important thing to learn about, when learning ones rights and responsibilities as an Irish Citizen, is to familiarize yourself with the most important document in Ireland’s history: Bunreacht Na hÉireann (The Constitution Of Ireland). A study of the Irish Constitution can be found below, and a brief history of the Irish Constitution follows.

Side By Side Comparison of Texts

A Study of the Irish Consitution

DeValera’s Constitution

A Brief History of the Irish Constitution

Bunreacht na HeireannIt is from this document that every single right and responsibility you have as an Irish Citizen stems. No law can be passed in The Republic of Ireland that conflicts with this document, and no changes can be made to it without a Referendum.

In a plebiscite held on 1 July 1937 the people enacted a new Irish Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann, to replace the 1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State.

Even though the 1922 Irish Constitution had been approved by Dáil Éireann, there continued to exist throughout the country a substantial body of opposition to it owing to its being circumscribed by the terms of the Treaty, its recognition of the British monarch as part of the national legislature and its requirement that members of the Oireachtas swear an oath of faithfulness to that monarch.

Much of the case for a new Constitution was the need to make perfectly clear that the source of authority in Ireland and of the fundamental law of the state is the people of Ireland. Hence the Preamble to Bunreacht na hÉireann says: ‘We, the people of Éire,…do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution’. There was a desire to give the state all the characteristics of a republic (and so all references to the British monarch were removed).

There also seemed to be a desire to strengthen or entrench the rights of the citizen as against the state. It had been possible to amend the Constitution of the Irish Free State by a simple Act of the Oireachtas without recourse to the people in a referendum.

The proposal to adopt Bunreacht na hÉireann was carried by 685,105 votes in favour to 526,945 votes against, a majority of 158,160.

Source: Constitution.ie

Midwest Radio Interview Ben Gilroy

Midwest Radio who interviewed Ben Gilroy

Today Ben Gilroy was interviewed by Midwest Radio. During this interview Ben discusses the talk held in Wicklow, featuring himself, Ray Whitehead, Clare Leonard and others. Ben also covers the usual bases with Midwest Radio, such as the unsecured bondholder repayments and the court case against the government.

During the interview, and during the talk, Ben talks about how democracy in Ireland is simple a politician turning up on your doorstep to ask for your vote based on certain promises, and then once in office essentially does whatever they please on any given issue. They then return in 5-7 years to see if you might give them your vote again. This culture of ignoring whatever mandate they receive simply must stop, and the solution is briefly mentioned in the interview. More on that afterwards.

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Direct Democracy As Discussed On Midwest Radio:

This is one of the earliest interviews in which Ben discovers the political party currently being set up called Direct Democracy Ireland. This party is entering the political spectrum with a single mission in mind: to restore the illegally removed final two articles from the Irish Constitution, which contained the right to direct democracy, as well as the right to remove people from political office if they failed to uphold the mandate that their local area put them in office to action.

Direct Democracy is a relatively simple political process, that was a part of the original 1922 Bunreacht Na hEireann, and was removed in the revised 1937 constitution. In this system, any citizen can bring about a referendum on any given topic, provided they can gather a predetermined amount of signatures in support of the issue’s being raised to a referendum. In the original wording of the constitution that number was 75,000. If this system had been in place at 2008, and a bailout of unguaranteed bondholders had been announced, how long would it have taken to gather that number of signatures  and what would have been the result of that referendum? We at People For Economic Justice don’t feel it would have taken more than an afternoon.

Source: Midwest Radio, listen to more of their interviews here.

Constitution Halts Sheriff: What Happened Next!

This week Ben outlines what happened following the viral events of Constitution Halts Sheriff. Ben was informed later on in the week that the Sheriff had returned at an undisclosed time, again with several members of An Garda Siochana in tow. They proceeded to kick down the door, ejected the family from their home, and took possession of the house. While one can see why the so-called Sheriff found this option a lot more manageable than proving why his role is not totally unlawful under the Constitution of Ireland, it does highlight further acts of gross misconduct on the part of both this man, and the Gardai that were with him at the time.

Given that this was an entirely Civil matter, An Garda Siochana had no business what so ever in being there, let alone kicking in the door. As we know, a citizen’s house is totally inviolable save as to law. As this man has broken no law, An Garda Siochana had no right to enter his property without his express permission.

As Ben mentions in this video, there is currently a constitutional challenge against these measures in courts. This is due to the fact that the registrar who writes orders to repossess homes in the circuit courts of Ireland, are almost always in fact the Sheriff who will execute this order. This is totally unlawful, as it allows the registrar to directly profit from the orders he or she writes. This is in a nutshell a lack of separation of powers.

Let me close this article by re-mentioning the feature-length documentary, spoke about at the close of the movie. Please assist in any way you can in getting this information to the people. A donate button can be found on the right hand side of every page of this websites, and every donation, no matter how big or how small gets us one step closer.