List of Irish constitutional conventions

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Several constitutional conventions have considered or proposed constitutions for the island of Ireland or for one of its two jurisdictions, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

Body Members Authority When met Territory Result
Irish Convention Appointed, nominated British government 1917–18 Whole island Failed to agree on a replacement for the Government of Ireland Act 1914.[1]
First Dáil Elected Self-appointed 1919–21 Whole island Produced a brief Dáil Constitution and aspirational Democratic Programme for its self-proclaimed Irish Republic
Third Dáil sitting as a constituent assembly Elected Anglo-Irish Treaty 1922[n 1] Irish Free State[n 2] Enacted the Constitution of the Irish Free State, which had been drafted by a committee appointed by the Provisional Government, and which was then re-enacted at Westminster via the Irish Free State Constitution Act 1922
8th Dáil Elected Irish Free State[n 3] 1937[n 4] State of Ireland[n 5] Passed the Constitution of Ireland, which had been drafted by a committee appointed by the Taoiseach, and which was then adopted by plebiscite[3]
Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention Elected British government 1975–76 Northern Ireland An elected consultative body envisaged as a prelude to devolution, which was dissolved after Unionist and Nationalist members failed to reach any agreement.[4]
New Ireland Forum Appointed (Chair), nominated Irish government 1983–84 Whole island Established by the Dublin government to consider possible constitutional arrangements in view of the Troubles in Northern Ireland.[5]
Northern Ireland Forum Elected British government[6] 1996–98 Northern Ireland Played a subsidiary role in the Northern Ireland peace process, as Sinn Féin boycotted the Forum but not the talks that led to the Good Friday Agreement
Constitutional Convention Appointed (Chair), nominated (33), randomly selected (66) Irish government 2012–14 State of Ireland To consider specified proposed amendments to the existing Constitution.[7]
  1. ^ After enacting the constitution, the Third Dáil continued as a provisional parliament and then as the first Free State Dáil until the 1923 election.
  2. ^ The state's territory was technically the whole island till the Parliament of Northern Ireland formally opted out. The Provisional Parliament's members represented only the territory of Southern Ireland.
  3. ^ See also legality of the enactment of the Constitution of Ireland
  4. ^ The 8th Dáil was elected in 1933, but the Constitution was not considered by it till March 1937[2]
  5. ^ Article 2 of the new constitution claimed the whole island as the national territory (though not the state jurisdiction) until a 1999 amendment

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Report of the Proceedings of the Irish Convention. Command papers. Cd.9019. Dublin: HMSO. 1918. Retrieved 25 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Dáil debates 10 March 1937 Vol.65 cc1435–39
  3. ^ Keogh, Dermot; McCarthy, Dr. Andrew (2007-01-01). The making of the Irish Constitution 1937: Bunreacht na hÉireann. Mercier Press. ISBN 9781856355612. 
  4. ^ Northern Ireland Constitutional Convention (8 November 1975). Report. HMSO. 
  5. ^ New Ireland Forum Report. Dublin: Stationery Office. 1984. 
  6. ^ Northern Ireland (Entry to Negotiations, etc) Act 1996
  7. ^ "Tom Arnold of Concern Appointed Chairperson of the Constitutional Convention" (Press release). Government of Ireland. 24 October 2012. Retrieved 24 October 2012.