Bunreacht na hÉireann

The rules that a country creates to use to govern the state is called the Constitution. There have been three constitutions in Ireland since the establishment of the state.

1919 Constitution of Dáil Éireann (Poblacht na hÉireann)
1922 Constitution of the Irish Free State (Saorstát Éireann)
1937 Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hÉireann)

The constitution contains rules that protect the rights of the family, education rights, property rights, religious rights and explains the State, role of the president and how the constitution can be changed. The constitution is changed but it can be only changed by a referendum, this is a vote which asks the people their view. It has been changed several times. In 1972 it was changed to lower the voting age to 18 and also some rules were changed to allow for membership of the European community. In 2001 the death penalty was abolished.

The Constitution is divided up like this

The Preamble Is the introduction
Articles 1 to 11 Explain what is meant by the State of Ireland
Articles 12 to 14 Describe the role of the President
Articles 15 to 28 A how government is run
Article 29 International arrangements between the State of ireland and other countries
Articles 30 to 33
Describes the role of some of the important advisors to the state
Articles 34 to 39 The court system and how trials should be held
Articles 40 to 44 The individuals rights - Personal, Family, Education. Property and Religious.
Article 45 Social Policy
Articles 46 to 50 How the constitution can be changed by a Referendum.

Activities on Constitution