Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland

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Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland
To permit the state to ratify the Single European Act
LocationRepublic of Ireland Ireland
Date26 May 1987 (1987-05-26)
Results
Votes %
Yes 755,423 69.92%
No 324,977 30.08%
Valid votes 1,080,400 99.55%
Invalid or blank votes 4,904 0.45%
Total votes 1,085,304 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 2,461,790 44.09%

The Tenth Amendment of the Constitution Act 1987 (previously bill no. 8 of 1987) is an amendment to the Constitution of Ireland that permitted the state to ratify the Single European Act. It was approved by referendum on 26 May 1987 and signed into law on 22 June of the same year.

Background[edit]

The Single European Act (SEA) was signed in February 1986 by the member states of the European Economic Community. It amended the Treaty of Rome and established the European Single Market. The European Communities (Amendment) Act 1986 was passed to allow provisions of the SEA to become part of domestic Irish law. On 22 December 1986, Raymond Crotty sought an injunction preventing Minister for Foreign Affairs Peter Barry from ratifying the Treaty on behalf of the state. He was refused relief by Donal Barrington in the High Court but was successful in part in the Supreme Court. In a majority judgment delivered in Crotty v. An Taoiseach, the Court held that Title III of the SEA would bind the State to concede part of its sovereignty in a manner not permitted by the Constitution under the amendment made in 1972 to allow accession to the European Communities.[1] In response, the newly elected government of Taoiseach Charles Haughey proposed an amendment to the constitution.

Changes to the text[edit]

Amendment to Article 29.4.3º by the addition of the text in bold (emphasis added):

3º The State may become a member of the European Coal and Steel Community (established by Treaty signed at Paris on the 18th day of April, 1951), the European Economic Community (established by Treaty signed at Rome on the 25th day of March, 1957) and the European Atomic Energy Community (established by Treaty signed at Rome on the 25th day of March, 1957). The State may ratify the Single European Act (signed on behalf of the Member States of the Communities at Luxembourg on the 17th day of February, 1986, and at The Hague on the 28th day of February, 1986). No provision of this Constitution invalidates laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the State necessitated by the obligations of membership of the Communities, or prevents laws enacted, acts done or measures adopted by the Communities, or institutions thereof, from having the force of law in the State.

Oireachtas Debates[edit]

The Tenth Amendment of the constitution Bill 1987 was proposed in the Dáil by Taoiseach Charles Haughey on 22 April 1987 on behalf of the minority Fianna Fáil government.[2] It was also supported by Fine Gael, who had negotiated the SEA during the previous government. At Second Stage, it passed by 108 votes to 29, where was opposed by the Progressive Democrats, the Labour Party, the Workers' Party and Independent TDs Neil Blaney and Tony Gregory.[3] It passed Final Stages in the Dáil on 24 April by 123 votes to 17, on this occasion with the Progressive Democrats supporting its passage.[4] It passed the Seanad on 25 April and proceeded to a referendum.[5]

Campaign[edit]

As well as the parties above, the SEA was also supported by employers' and farmers' organisations.

Result[edit]

Tenth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland referendum[6]
Choice Votes %
Referendum passed Yes 755,423 69.92
No 324,977 30.08
Valid votes 1,080,400 99.55
Invalid or blank votes 4,904 0.45
Total votes 1,085,304 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 2,461,790 44.09
Results by constituency[6]
Constituency Electorate Turnout (%) Votes Proportion of votes
Yes No Yes No
Carlow–Kilkenny 78,653 45.0% 25,284 9,856 72.0% 28.0%
Cavan–Monaghan 75,913 41.4% 24,913 6,294 79.9% 20.1%
Clare 63,510 42.6% 20,816 6,129 77.3% 22.7%
Cork East 55,940 46.7% 17,285 8,747 66.4% 33.6%
Cork North-Central 64,011 43.6% 15,068 12,759 54.2% 45.8%
Cork North-West 41,244 48.4% 14,296 5,549 72.1% 27.9%
Cork South-Central 77,231 50.7% 24,040 14,983 61.7% 38.3%
Cork South-West 42,304 47.1% 13,734 6,100 69.3% 30.7%
Donegal North-East 44,055 38.5% 11,040 5,834 65.5% 34.5%
Donegal South-West 47,526 34.2% 11,090 5,117 68.5% 31.5%
Dublin Central 72,116 43.6% 18,182 13,150 58.1% 41.9%
Dublin North 48,071 46.0% 16,090 5,927 73.1% 26.9%
Dublin North-Central 57,247 51.2% 19,263 9,944 66.0% 34.0%
Dublin North-East 51,377 46.9% 15,165 8,816 63.3% 36.7%
Dublin North-West 50,742 43.4% 11,916 10,018 54.4% 45.6%
Dublin South 79,614 53.7% 31,614 11,074 74.1% 25.9%
Dublin South-Central 76,743 45.6% 21,313 13,574 61.1% 38.9%
Dublin South-East 68,638 42.2% 19,542 9,305 67.8% 32.2%
Dublin South-West 62,489 41.2% 15,177 10,513 59.1% 40.9%
Dublin West 77,363 42.1% 19,994 12,537 61.5% 38.5%
Dún Laoghaire 78,721 53.1% 31,821 9,914 76.3% 23.7%
Galway East 42,491 39.5% 13,897 2,823 83.2% 16.8%
Galway West 78,785 36.2% 20,817 7,571 73.4% 26.6%
Kerry North 46,427 38.8% 10,709 7,201 59.8% 40.2%
Kerry South 42,565 40.9% 11,560 5,778 66.7% 33.3%
Kildare 76,003 42.5% 23,685 8,514 73.6% 26.4%
Laois–Offaly 75,693 41.3% 22,758 8,332 73.3% 26.7%
Limerick East 68,065 44.0% 21,350 8,517 71.5% 28.5%
Limerick West 43,146 45.8% 15,846 3,836 80.6% 19.4%
Longford–Westmeath 61,589 39.9% 18,686 5,729 76.6% 23.4%
Louth 62,545 44.4% 19,397 8,270 70.2% 29.8%
Mayo East 41,117 40.0% 13,406 2,946 82.0% 18.0%
Mayo West 40,895 39.0% 12,779 3,057 80.7% 19.3%
Meath 75,382 43.1% 23,822 8,502 73.7% 26.3%
Roscommon 41,329 42.6% 14,001 3,494 80.1% 19.9%
Sligo–Leitrim 59,608 45.0% 20,110 6,540 75.5% 24.5%
Tipperary North 41,507 46.6% 14,343 4,888 74.6% 25.4%
Tipperary South 55,560 46.4% 19,180 6,464 74.8% 25.2%
Waterford 60,409 45.2% 18,442 8,688 68.0% 32.0%
Wexford 69,773 44.2% 22,208 8,524 72.3% 27.7%
Wicklow 65,393 45.9% 20,784 9,163 69.5% 30.5%
Total 2,461,790 44.1% 755,423 324,977 69.9% 30.1%

Aftermath[edit]

The Single European Act came into effect on 1 July 1987 after Ireland had ratified it.

Because of the decision of the Supreme Court in Crotty, the constitution needed to be amended on every further occasion before a treaty could be ratified that would transfer sovereignty from the Irish government to a supranational authority. This has occurred on the following occasions:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Crotty v. An Taoiseach". Irish Reports: 713. 1987.
  2. ^ "Tenth Amendment of the constitution Bill, 1987: Second Stage". Houses of the Oireachtas. 22 April 1987. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Tenth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1987: Second Stage (Resumed)". Houses of the Oireachtas. 23 April 1987. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Tenth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1987: Committee and Final Stages". Houses of the Oireachtas. 24 April 1987. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Tenth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 1987: Committee and Final Stages". Houses of the Oireachtas. 25 April 1987. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Referendum Results 1937–2015" (PDF). Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. 23 August 2016. p. 42. Retrieved 19 May 2018.

External links[edit]