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The Republic and the Constitution April 1, 2016

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

I had not realised until reading Elaine Byrne at the weekend that the word Republic is not used in the Constitution. Indeed it is only used in the 1948 Republic of Ireland Act, which merely states that Ireland is ‘officially a republic’. Take a look at the constitution what do we see. Democratic? Three mentions of that or democratically… Article 5 saying:

Ireland is a sovereign, independent, democratic state.

It’s an interesting exercise going through it to see what is in and what is out. As Byrne notes the preamble is inflected with religious, not republican, principles:

In the Name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred,
We, the people of Éire,
Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial,
Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation,
And seeking to promote the common good, with due observance of Prudence, Justice and Charity, so that the dignity and freedom of the individual may be assured, true social order attained, the unity of our country restored, and concord established with other nations,
Do hereby adopt, enact, and give to ourselves this Constitution.


1. Michael Carley - April 1, 2016

Was the decision not to use the word `republic’ because Dev was edging slowly away from dominion status and didn’t want to push his luck?


2. Garibaldy - April 1, 2016

Supposedly Dev didn’t want to declare a republic that wasn’t THE republic


WorldbyStorm - April 1, 2016

Both fair comments, my surprise wasn’t so much over the original omitting mention as no later inclusion..


3. John Goodwillie - April 1, 2016

In July 1945, De Valera said: “look up any standard book of reference and get .. any definition of a republic or any description of what a republic is and judge whether our State does not possess every characteristic mark by which a republic can be distinguished or recognised.” By not putting the word in the Constitution, Dev got the “external association” he had wanted in 1922. And by declaring the Republic in 1948 without making it a constitutional amendment, the Inter-Party Government avoided a referendum on the subject.

Liked by 1 person

4. ivorthorne - April 1, 2016

Isn’t this going back to the whole “saor stat” versus Republic thing?


WorldbyStorm - April 2, 2016

In a way yes.


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