Council of State (Ireland)

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The Council of State (Irish: an Chomhairle Stáit[1]) is a body established by the Constitution of Ireland to advise the President of Ireland in the exercise of many of his or her discretionary, reserve powers.[2] The Council of State also has authority to provide for the temporary exercise of the duties of the president in the event that these cannot be exercised by either the president or the Presidential Commission[3] (an eventuality that is very unlikely to occur).

Gemma Hussey, who was a member of the Council of State in 1989–90, described it as "largely a symbolic body".[4] The Council of State has been likened to a privy council,[5][6] although Jim Duffy calls this "more apparent than real" as it has no legislative or judicial functions.[7]

MembersEdit

The Council of State consists of a number of government officials, who sit ex officio, as well as certain former office holders and up to seven individuals of the president's own choosing. The ex officio members comprise the attorney general as well as individuals from each of three branches of government: legislature, executive and judiciary.[8]

Unlike most of the president's other duties, which must be conducted in accordance with the advice of the cabinet, the seven presidential appointees to the Council of State are chosen at the president's absolute discretion.[9] These appointees retain their positions until the president's successor takes office.[10] Every member of the Council of State must subscribe to a stipulated declaration of office before participating in its meetings.[11]

Class Office Current members
Ex officio: executive Taoiseach (Prime Minister) Enda Kenny
Tánaiste (Deputy Prime Minister) Eamon Gilmore
Ex officio: legislature Ceann Comhairle (Chairman of Dáil Éireann) Seán Barrett
Cathaoirleach (Chairman of Seanad Éireann) Paddy Burke
Ex officio: judiciary Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Susan Denham
President of the Court of Appeal TBD[fn 1]
President of the High Court Nicholas Kearns
Ex officio Attorney General Máire Whelan
Former officeholders President Mary Robinson, Mary McAleese
Taoiseach Liam Cosgrave, Albert Reynolds, John Bruton, Bertie Ahern, Brian Cowen
Chief Justice John L. Murray, Thomas Finlay, Ronan Keane
President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State None[fn 2]
President's nominees (List of former nominees) Michael Farrell, Deirdre Heenan, Catherine McGuinness, Gearóid Ó Tuathaigh, Ruairí McKiernan, Sally Mulready, Gerard Quinn[16]
  1. ^ The Court of Appeal will be established in 2014 under the terms of a constitutional amendment enacted in 2013.[12][13][14]
  2. ^ The office of President of the Executive Council was superseded in 1937 by that of Taoiseach; both former Presidents are dead. The 1996 Constitution Review Group proposed removing, as obsolete, mention of the office in relation to the Council of State.[15]

The Constitution explicitly states that members appointed by the President may resign,[17] or be dismissed by the President.[18] Former office holders are members if "able and willing to act as a member",[19] which implies an ability to resign; but there is no provision for dismissing them. When the McCracken Tribunal found in 1997 that former Taoiseach Charles Haughey had misled the Tribunal, there were calls for him to formally resign from the Council of State.[20][21] He did not do so, although he sent his regrets to subsequent meetings of the Council until his death.[20][22]

Members of the Council of State may be excused from jury duty.[23]

The Constitution specifies an oath of office, "in the presence of Almighty God", which a new member must take before the first official meeting. Tánaiste Éamon Gilmore, a declared agnostic, sought legal advice before attending the 2013 Council meeting.[24] The 1996 Constitutional Review Group recommended making the religious part optional.[15]

RoleEdit

Before exercising any reserve power but one, the President is required to seek the advice of the Council of State, although not required to follow its advice. The one exception, where the President has "absolute discretion",[25] is in deciding to refuse a dissolution to a Taoiseach who has lost the confidence of the Dáil. The remaining discretionary powers, which do require prior consultation with the Council of State, are as follows (for a detailed description of the president's reserve powers see: President of Ireland#Discretionary powers):

The draft of the Constitution gave more powers to the Council of State. Article 13 allows additional powers to be given to the President acting on the advice of the Government; originally, it was the advice of the Council of State that was to be required.[7] Article 14 provides for a Presidential Commission as the collective vice-presidency of the state when the President is absent; originally the Council of State was to fill this function.[7] Nevertheless, under Article 14.4 of the constitution the Council of State, acting by a majority of its members, has authority to "make such provision as to them may seem meet" for the exercise of the duties of the president in any contingency the constitution does not foresee.[3] This provision has never been invoked.

The Third Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1958, which was defeated at a referendum, gave a role for the Council of State in the work of an envisaged constituency boundary commission.

MeetingsEdit

Working meetings called by the President for consultation under the terms of the Constitution are rare, though less so since the election of Mary Robinson in 1990. Four meetings have related to an address the Oireachtas, which requires the approval of the Government as well as the consultation of the Council of State. All other meetings have been to advise the President about whether to refer a bill to the Supreme Court.[33]

Meetings are held in Áras an Uachtaráin.[20] Members arrive 15 minutes before the meeting starts, and are served light refreshments in the Council of State Room.[20] At the first meeting of the Council in Mary McAleese's first term, there was a photocall in the State Reception Rooms.[20] The Council's deliberations are held in camera,[20] as for cabinet meetings, though there is no explicit requirement for confidentiality. The Irish Times obtained details of a 1984 meeting from an unnamed attendee,[34] while James Dooge discussed a 1976 meeting years later with journalist Stephen Collins.[35] Members are seated in order of precedence in the Presidents' Room around a 1927 dining table purchased by President de Valera in 1961.[20] The Secretary-General to the President serves as clerk to the Council.[36] The Council does not offer collective advice; the President asks each member in turn to comment, and further discussion may involve several members.[7]

Apart from the Council of State's official meetings, its members are invited to important state functions, such as state funerals, the National Day of Commemoration, and the inauguration of the next President. The first President, Douglas Hyde, dined monthly with the members of his Council of State.[37] The seven new Presidential nominees of Mary McAleese's second term were introduced at a luncheon in the Áras the month after their appointment.[38] Campaigning in the 1990 presidential election, Mary Robinson promised to have meetings of the Council regularly rather than on "an emergency basis".[39]

Addresses to the OireachtasEdit

Date of meeting[33] President Topic of Address Date of Address (link to text) Notes
20 December 1968[40] Éamon de Valera 50th anniversary of the First Dáil 21 January 1969 Brendan Corish was the only absentee from the Council of State meeting.[41]
29 June 1992 Mary Robinson "the Irish Identity in Europe"[42] 8 July 1992
24 January 1995 Mary Robinson "Cherishing the Irish Diaspora" 2 February 1995
28 October 1999 Mary McAleese Marking the millennium[43] 16 December 1999 Charles Haughey, Albert Reynolds, and Mary Robinson were absent.[20]

Referring of billsEdit

In some cases, the President has decided to sign the bill (thereby enacting it) without referring it to the Supreme Court; in other cases, the President has referred the bill (or sections of it) and the court has upheld its constitutionality; and in other cases the Court has found some or all of the referred portions to be unconstitutional. It is not revealed whether some or all members of the Council of State counselled for or against the President's course of action.

Jim Duffy in 1991 criticised the lack of supporting resources for members of the Council; at meetings they were provided only with a copy of the Constitution.[7] By contrast, prior to the 2013 meeting to discuss the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill, a dossier of background information was sent to each member, including legal briefs and news reports.[44]

Although the serving Chief Justice is a member of the Council, she does not by convention get involved in substantive discussions on the bill, since she will be involved in the deliberations if the bill does get referred.[35][44] Therefore retired Chief Justices and the President of the High Court play a greater role in the discussion.[35][44] The 2013 meeting was the first at which two serving members of the Supreme Court were present, as John Murray is an ex-Chief Justice but current ordinary member of the Court, the first such since the term of the Chief Justice was limited to seven years in 1997.[35][45]

Date of meeting[33] Bill (section) President Outcome Notes
8 January 1940 Offences against the State (Amendment) Bill, 1940 Hyde, DouglasDouglas Hyde Referred and upheld[46][47] See Offences against the State Acts 1939–1998. W. T. Cosgrave was the only absent member of the Council.[48] The Dublin North–West branch of the Labour Party passed a resolution urging William Norton to withdraw from the Council "which exists for the purpose of endorsing Fianna Fáil restrictions on liberty".[49]
25 February 1943 School Attendance Bill, 1942 Hyde, DouglasDouglas Hyde Referred and struck down[50][51]
13 August 1947 Health Bill, 1947 Okelly, Sean TSeán T. O'Kelly Signed without referral[52] Absentees were George Gavan Duffy, Douglas Hyde, Timothy Sullivan, W. T. Cosgrave, and Richard Mulcahy.[53]
14 June 1961 Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 1961 Devalera, EamonÉamon de Valera Referred and upheld[54][55]
6 March 1967 Income Tax Bill, 1966 Devalera, EamonÉamon de Valera Signed without referral[56] All members attended.[57] On 7 March, before the President announced a decision, the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill, 1967 was introduced and passed by the Oireachtas.[58] This pre-emptively cancelled the contentious sections of the original Bill.[58][59] Next day, the President signed both bills into law.[59][60]
10 March 1976 Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill, 1975 Odalaigh, CearbhallCearbhall Ó Dálaigh Referred and upheld[61][62] James Dooge, Cathaoirleach of the Seanad, was absent.[63]
23 September 1976 (a) Emergency Powers Bill, 1976 Odalaigh, CearbhallCearbhall Ó Dálaigh Referred and upheld[64][65] The meeting, which discussed two bills, lasted 4 hours.[66] Maurice E. Dockrell was the only absentee.[66] President Ó Dálaigh and Attorney General Declan Costello debated points of law in great detail.[7] Minister Paddy Donegan described the President's decision to refer the bill as a "thundering disgrace", precipitating Ó Dálaigh's resignation. James Dooge later suggested that Ó Dálaigh was more concerned with asserting his right to refer the bill than casting doubt on its Constitutionality.[35] As the bill was formally stated to be emergency legislation, most Constitutional safeguards did not apply to it.[35]
23 September 1976 (b) Criminal Law Bill, 1976 Odalaigh, CearbhallCearbhall Ó Dálaigh Signed without referral[67] Same meeting as preceding
22 December 1981 Housing (Private Rented Dwellings Bill), 1981 Hillery, PatrickPatrick Hillery Referred and struck down[68][69]
20 December 1983 Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 1983 Hillery, PatrickPatrick Hillery Referred and struck down[70][71] Absentees were Siobhán McKenna, Seán McEntee, and James Dillon.[72] The bill would have given British citizens the right to vote in all elections in the Republic of Ireland. The Ninth Amendment of the Constitution in 1984 removed the obstacle with regard to Dáil elections but not Presidential elections or referenda (ordinary or constitutional).[73] The Electoral (Amendment) Act, 1985 extended the franchise for Dáil elections.[74]
5 December 1984 Criminal Justice Bill, 1983 Hillery, PatrickPatrick Hillery Signed without referral[75] Siobhán McKenna and Máirín Bean Uí Dhálaigh were absent.[34]
22 June 1988 Adoption (No. 2) Bill, 1987 Hillery, PatrickPatrick Hillery Referred and upheld[76][77] Absentees were Tom O'Higgins and Jack Lynch.[78]
30 October 1991 Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, 1990 Robinson, MaryMary Robinson Signed without referral[79]
1 December 1993 Matrimonial Home Bill, 1993 Robinson, MaryMary Robinson Referred and struck down[80][81]
1 March 1994 Criminal Justice (Public Order) Bill, 1993 Robinson, MaryMary Robinson Signed without referral[82]
16 March 1995 Regulation of Information (Services Outside the State For Termination of Pregnancies) Bill, 1995 Robinson, MaryMary Robinson Referred and upheld[83][84] The act sprang from the Fourteenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland in 1992. See also abortion in the Republic of Ireland.
1 April 1997 Employment Equality Bill, 1996 Robinson, MaryMary Robinson Referred and struck down[85][86] 15 of 22 members attended, including the Taoiseach.[87] After the bill was struck down, the Employment Equality Act 1998 was passed instead.[88][89]
6 May 1997 Equal Status Bill, 1997 Robinson, MaryMary Robinson Referred and struck down[90][91] Charles Haughey was absent.[92]
30 June 2000 (a) Planning and Development Bill 1999 McAleese, MaryMary McAleese Referred Part V; upheld[93][94]
30 June 2000 (b) Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Bill 1999 McAleese, MaryMary McAleese Referred §§ 5 and 10; upheld[93][95] Same meeting as preceding
8 April 2002 Section 24 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No. 2) Bill, 2001 McAleese, MaryMary McAleese Signed without referral[96]
21 December 2004 Health (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2004 McAleese, MaryMary McAleese Referred and struck down[97][98] Charles Haughey was the only absentee.[22]
9 May 2007 Criminal Justice Bill 2007 McAleese, MaryMary McAleese Signed without referral[99]
22 July 2009 (a) Defamation Bill 2006 McAleese, MaryMary McAleese Signed without referral[100] 19 of 22 members of the Council were present; the meeting lasted over 3 hours.[101] See also blasphemy law in Ireland.
22 July 2009 (b) Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2009 McAleese, MaryMary McAleese Signed without referral[100] Same meeting as preceding
21 December 2010 Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Bill 2010 McAleese, MaryMary McAleese Signed without referral[102] See 2008–2011 Irish banking crisis
29 July 2013 Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013 Higgins, Michael D.Michael D. Higgins Signed without referral[103] See Protection of Life During Pregnancy Act 2013.[104] Of 24 members, 21 attended; Mary Robinson, John Bruton and Albert Reynolds were absent.[105] The meeting ran from 3.15pm to 6.45pm.[105]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

FootnotesEdit

  1. ^ "the Council of State". focal.ie. Retrieved 21 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Articles 31–2
  3. ^ a b Constitution of Ireland, Article 14.4
  4. ^ Hussey, Gemma (1995). Ireland today. Penguin. p. 12. ISBN 978-0-14-015761-1. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "First Council of State meets to-day". The Irish Times. 8 January 1940. p. 5. "The new body may be said to be analogous to the old-time Privy Council, with the important difference that it is purely advisory, and has, in fact, no definite powers." 
  6. ^ Keogh, Dermot; McCarthy, Andrew; McCarthy, Dr. Andrew (2007). The making of the Irish Constitution 1937: Bunreacht na hÉireann. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-85635-561-2. Retrieved 11 November 2010. "The Privy Council in Ireland disappeared with the Viceroy and the rule of Dublin Castle; it comes back as the President's Council of State" 
  7. ^ a b c d e f Duffy, Jim (21 February 1991). "Council of State's function is still very confined". The Irish Times. p. 9. 
  8. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 31.2
  9. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 31.3
  10. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 31.5
  11. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 31.4
  12. ^ "Written Answers Nos. 1024 - 1041: Constitutional Amendments". Dáil debates. 18 September 2013. p. 109. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  13. ^ "Thirty-third Amendment of the Constitution (Court of Appeal) Bill 2013". Oireachtas. 2013. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  14. ^ Mac Cormaic, Ruadhan (6 October 2013). "Yes vote in ‘the other referendum’ brings relief for court’s champions". The Irish Times. Retrieved 9 October 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Constitution Review Group (1996). "The Council of State". Report of the Constitution Review Group. Government publications. Pn.2632. Dublin: Stationery Office. p. 113. ISBN 0707624401. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. 
  16. ^ Doyle, Kilian (6 January 2012). "Higgins unveils his seven Council of State nominees". The Irish Times. Retrieved 6 January 2012. 
  17. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 31.6
  18. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 31.7
  19. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 31.2(ii)
  20. ^ a b c d e f g h McCarthy, Justine (30 October 1999). "Keeping her own Council". Irish Independent. p. 1. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  21. ^ "Haughey's removal from Council of State urged". The Irish Times. 15 October 1997. p. 7. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  22. ^ a b "Council advises McAleese on Health Bill". RTÉ.ie. 21 December 2004. Retrieved 12 November 2010. "the only absentee was the former Taoiseach, Charles Haughey" 
  23. ^ "Juries Act, 1976; First Schedule, Part II". Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 7 November 2013. 
  24. ^ Minihan, Mary (27 July 2013). "Agnostic Gilmore got legal advice on swearing religious oath". The Irish Times. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  25. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 13.2.2°
  26. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 13.2.3°
  27. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 13.7.1°
  28. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 13.7.2°
  29. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 22.2.6°
  30. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 24.1
  31. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 26.1.1°
  32. ^ Constitution of Ireland, Article 27.4.1°
  33. ^ a b c "Meetings of the Council of State". Office of the President. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  34. ^ a b "Council of State gives mixed reaction to Bill". The Irish Times. 6 December 1984. p. 7. 
  35. ^ a b c d e f Collins, Stephen (28 July 2013). "State’s most bizarre body to advise on abortion Bill". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  36. ^ Presidential Establishment Act, 1938 §6((5)); as amended by Civil Service Regulation (Amendment) Act 2005 §27
  37. ^ Dunleavy, Janet Egleson; Dunleavy, Gareth W. (1991). Douglas Hyde: a maker of modern Ireland. University of California Press. pp. 399–400. ISBN 978-0-520-06684-7. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  38. ^ "Engagements Week beginning 13th December 2004". Office of the President. "Wednesday, 15th December 2004 ... 12:30 pm Áras an Uachtaráin: President hosts lunch for newly-appointed members of the Council of State" 
  39. ^ Tynan, Maol Mhuire (27 September 1990). "Robinson wants Council of State to have new role in Presidency". The Irish Times. p. 2. 
  40. ^ 20 December 1968 – Address to Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament) Office of the President
  41. ^ "Council of State meets". The Irish Times. 21 December 1968. p. 4. 
  42. ^ 29 June 1992 – Address to the Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament) Office of the President
  43. ^ 28 October 1999 – Address to the Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament) 28 October 1999 – Address to the Houses of the Oireachtas (Parliament) Office of the President
  44. ^ a b c Mac Cormaic, Ruadhan (29 July 2013). "Council of State gathers at Áras for meeting on abortion Bill". The Irish Times. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  45. ^ "Appointment and Tenure of Judges of the Supreme Court". Supreme Court of Ireland. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  46. ^ 8 January 1940 – Offences against the State (Amendment) Bill, 1940 Office of the President
  47. ^ In re Article 26 and the Offences Against the State (Amendment) Bill 1940 Supreme Court
  48. ^ "Offences Bill referred to Supreme Court". The Irish Times. 9 January 1940. p. 5. 
  49. ^ "The Council of State; A Dublin Labour resolution". The Irish Times. 13 January 1940. p. 13. 
  50. ^ 25 February 1943 – School Attendance Bill, 1942 Office of the President
  51. ^ In re Article 26 and the School Attendance Bill 1942 Supreme Court
  52. ^ 13 August 1947 – Health Bill, 1947 Office of the President
  53. ^ "Council of State Meets". The Irish Times. 14 August 1947. p. 1. 
  54. ^ 14 June 1961 – Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 1961 Office of the President
  55. ^ In re Article 26 and the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 1961 Supreme Court
  56. ^ 6 March 1967 – Income Tax Bill, 1966 Office of the President
  57. ^ "Council of State meets". The Irish Times. 7 March 1967. p. 1. 
  58. ^ a b Dáil debates Vol.227 col.113
  59. ^ a b Income Tax (Amendment) Act, 1967 Irish Statute Book
  60. ^ Income Tax Act, 1967 Irish Statute Book
  61. ^ 10 March 1976 – Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill, 1975 Office of the President
  62. ^ In re Article 26 and the Criminal Law (Jurisdiction) Bill 1975 Supreme Court
  63. ^ "Criminal Law Bill for Supreme Court". The Irish Times. 11 March 1976. p. 1. 
  64. ^ 23 September 1976 – Emergency Powers Bill, 1976 Office of the President
  65. ^ In re Article 26 and the Emergency Powers Bill 1976 Supreme Court
  66. ^ a b "President consults Council of State for four hours". The Irish Times. 24 September 1976. p. 1. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  67. ^ 23 September 1976 – Criminal Law Bill, 1976 Office of the President
  68. ^ 22 December 1981 – Housing (Private Rented Dwellings Bill), 1981 Office of the President
  69. ^ In re Article 26 and the Housing (Private Rented Dwellings) Bill 1981 Supreme Court
  70. ^ 20 December 1983 – Electoral (Amendment) Bill, 1983 Office of the President
  71. ^ In re Article 26 and the Electoral (Amendment) Bill 1983 Supreme Court
  72. ^ "Council of Stae considers voting Bill". The Irish Times. 21 December 1983. p. 6. 
  73. ^ Ninth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1984 Irish Statute Book
  74. ^ Electoral (Amendment) Act, 1985 Irish Statute Book
  75. ^ 5 December 1984 – Criminal Justice Bill, 1983 Office of the President
  76. ^ 22 June 1988 – Adoption (No. 2) Bill, 1987 Office of the President
  77. ^ In re Article 26 and the Adoption (No.2) Bill 1987 Supreme Court
  78. ^ Brennock, Mark (22 June 1988). "Hillery consults Council of State on Adoption Bill". The Irish Times. p. 9. 
  79. ^ 30 October 1991 – Fisheries (Amendment) Bill, 1990 Office of the President
  80. ^ 1 December 1993 – Matrimonial Home Bill, 1993 Office of the President
  81. ^ In re Article 26 and Matrimonial Home Bill 1993 Supreme Court
  82. ^ 1 March 1994 – Criminal Justice Public Order Bill, 1993 Office of the President
  83. ^ 16 March 1995 – Regulation of Information services outside the State for Termination of Pregnancies Bill, 1995. Office of the President
  84. ^ In re Article 26 and the Regulation of Information (Services outside the State for the Termination of Pregnancies) Bill 1995 Supreme Court
  85. ^ 1 April 1997 – Employment Equality Bill, 1996 Office of the President
  86. ^ In re Article 26 and the Employment Equality Bill 1996 Supreme Court
  87. ^ "15 attend meeting on Bill". Irish Times. 4 April 1997. Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  88. ^ "Employment Equality Bill, 1997: Second Stage.". Seanad Éireann debates. Oireachtas. 12 February 1998. pp. Vol.154 No.4 p.8. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  89. ^ "Employment Equality Bill, 1997 [Seanad] (No 58 of 1997)". Bills 1997-2013. Oireachtas. Retrieved 25 July 2013. 
  90. ^ 6 May 1997 – Equal Status Bill, 1997 Office of the President
  91. ^ In re Article 26 and the Equal Status Bill 1997 Supreme Court
  92. ^ Maher, John (26 July 1997). "Haughey's fall from grace does not lighten the burden of the taxpayer". The Irish Times. p. 9. 
  93. ^ a b 30 June 2000 – (a) Planning and Development Bill 1999 and (b) Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Bill 1999 Office of the President
  94. ^ In re Article 26 and the Planning and Development Bill 1999 Supreme Court
  95. ^ In re Article 26 and the Illegal Immigrants (Trafficking) Bill 1999 Supreme Court
  96. ^ 8 April 2002 – Section 24 of the Housing (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No. 2) Bill, 2001 Office of the President
  97. ^ 21 December 2004 – Health (Amendment) (No. 2) Bill 2004 Office of the President
  98. ^ In re Article 26 and the Health (Amendment) (No 2) Bill 2004 Supreme Court
  99. ^ 9 May 2007 – Criminal Justice Bill 2007 Office of the President
  100. ^ a b 22 July 2009 – (a) Defamation Bill 2006 and (b) Criminal Justice (Amendment) Bill 2009 Office of the President
  101. ^ "President signs controversial bills into law". RTÉ.ie. 23 July 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2011. 
  102. ^ "President signs Credit Institutions Bill". Irish Examiner. 21 December 2010. Retrieved 21 December 2010. 
  103. ^ "President Higgins signs abortion bill into law". Irish Independent. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013. 
  104. ^ McGee, Harry (24 July 2013). "Higgins to consult Council of State on abortion Bill". The Irish Times. Retrieved 24 July 2013. 
  105. ^ a b McGee, Harry (29 July 2013). "Council of State meeting on abortion Bill ends". The Irish Times. Retrieved 29 July 2013. 

External linksEdit

Last modified on 7 January 2014, at 18:47