Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2001

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Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2001
To permit the state to ratify the Treaty of Nice
LocationRepublic of Ireland Ireland
Date7 June 2001 (2001-06-07)
Results
Votes %
Yes 453,461 46.13%
No 529,478 53.87%
Valid votes 982,939 98.51%
Invalid or blank votes 14,887 1.49%
Total votes 997,826 100.00%
Registered voters/turnout 2,867,960 34.79%

The Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2001 (bill no. 19 of 2001) was a proposed amendment to the Constitution of Ireland to allow the state to ratify the Treaty of Nice of the European Union.[1] The proposal was rejected in a referendum held on June 2001, sometimes referred to as the first Nice referendum.[1] The referendum was held on the same day as referendums on the prohibition of the death penalty and on the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, both of which were approved.

The Nice Treaty was subsequently approved by Irish voters when the Twenty-sixth Amendment was approved in the second Nice referendum, held in 2002.

Background[edit]

The Treaty of Nice was signed by the member states of the European Union in February 2001, amending the Treaties of the European Union. Under the decision of the Supreme Court in Crotty v. An Taoiseach (1987), an amendment to the Constitution was required before it could be ratified by Ireland. Ireland was the only one of the then 15 EU member states to put the Treaty to the people in a referendum.

Proposed changes to the text[edit]

Insertion of the following subsections in Article 29.4:

7º The State may ratify the Treaty of Nice amending the Treaty on European Union, the Treaties establishing the European Communities and certain related Acts signed at Nice on the 26th day of February, 2001.

8º The State may exercise the options or discretions provided by or under Articles 1.6, 1.9, 1.11, 1.12, 1.13 and 2.1 of the Treaty referred to in subsection 7º of this section but any such exercise shall be subject to the prior approval of both Houses of the Oireachtas.

Renumbering of subsections 7º and 8º of Article 29.4 as subsections 9º and 10º.

Oireachtas debate[edit]

The Twenty-fourth Amendment was proposed in Dáil Éireann by Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen on behalf of the Fianna FáilProgressive Democrats coalition government led by Taoiseach Bertie Ahern.[2] It was supported by opposition parties Fine Gael and the Labour Party, while it was opposed by the Green Party, Sinn Féin and the Socialist Party, as well as Independent TD Tony Gregory.[3] It passed final stages in the Dáil on 2 May, with insufficient opposition to force a roll call vote.[4] It passed final stages in the Seanad on 4 May and proceeded to a referendum on 11 June 2001.[5]

Campaign[edit]

A Referendum Commission was established by Minister for the Environment and Local Government Noel Dempsey.[6] It was chaired by former Chief Justice Thomas Finlay. At the time, its role included setting out the arguments for and against the proposal.[7]

Result[edit]

Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland Bill 2001[8]
Choice Votes %
Referendum failed No 529,478 53.87
Yes 453,461 46.13
Valid votes 982,939 98.51
Invalid or blank votes 14,887 1.49
Total votes 997,826 100.00
Registered voters and turnout 2,867,960 34.79
Result by constituency[8]
Constituency Electorate Turnout (%) Votes Proportion of votes
Yes No Yes No
Carlow–Kilkenny 92,470 34.1% 14,799 16,197 47.8% 52.2%
Cavan–Monaghan 85,803 34.6% 14,031 15,145 48.1% 51.9%
Clare 76,227 30.8% 11,265 11,853 48.8% 51.2%
Cork East 68,707 35.6% 10,490 13,613 43.6% 56.4%
Cork North-Central 75,038 33.4% 10,127 14,648 40.9% 59.1%
Cork North-West 49,749 37.5% 8,224 9,978 45.2% 54.8%
Cork South-Central 90,790 37.2% 15,428 17,952 46.3% 53.7%
Cork South-West 50,677 37.1% 8,725 9,704 47.4% 52.6%
Donegal North-East 55,035 27.6% 5,953 8,980 39.9% 60.1%
Donegal South-West 52,671 28.6% 5,879 8,961 39.7% 60.3%
Dublin Central 61,290 33.7% 8,115 12,197 40.0% 60.0%
Dublin North 70,321 37.8% 12,635 13,695 48.0% 52.0%
Dublin North-Central 64,007 43.2% 11,752 15,636 43.0% 57.0%
Dublin North-East 59,877 39.8% 10,291 13,338 43.6% 56.4%
Dublin North-West 57,284 38.3% 9,078 12,621 41.9% 58.1%
Dublin South 93,038 42.6% 20,369 18,894 51.9% 48.1%
Dublin South-Central 65,542 39.1% 11,199 14,141 44.2% 55.8%
Dublin South-East 58,820 39.7% 11,327 11,650 49.3% 50.7%
Dublin South-West 81,266 31.9% 9,856 15,797 38.5% 61.5%
Dublin West 77,760 34.4% 11,708 14,856 44.1% 55.9%
Dún Laoghaire 86,549 42.8% 19,654 17,030 53.6% 46.4%
Galway East 65,633 29.6% 9,009 10,034 47.4% 52.6%
Galway West 83,176 29.5% 10,100 13,951 42.0% 58.0%
Kerry North 53,366 32.8% 6,786 10,426 39.5% 60.5%
Kerry South 48,992 32.1% 6,924 8,486 45.0% 55.0%
Kildare North 59,035 34.5% 9,923 10,196 49.4% 50.6%
Kildare South 51,142 32.3% 7,771 8,513 47.8% 52.2%
Laois–Offaly 90,987 32.2% 13,950 14,736 48.7% 51.3%
Limerick East 80,339 34.5% 12,720 14,593 46.6% 53.4%
Limerick West 49,160 34.8% 8,246 8,476 49.4% 50.6%
Longford–Roscommon 67,305 32.0% 9,988 11,128 47.4% 52.6%
Louth 78,007 34.0% 12,203 13,972 46.7% 53.3%
Mayo 90,336 30.1% 11,799 14,865 44.3% 55.7%
Meath 101,888 32.6% 15,712 17,005 48.1% 51.9%
Sligo–Leitrim 66,748 35.2% 10,303 12,671 44.9% 55.1%
Tipperary North 56,278 33.9% 9,260 9,472 49.5% 50.5%
Tipperary South 53,463 37.0% 9,410 9,965 48.6% 51.4%
Waterford 71,946 35.0% 11,919 12,795 48.3% 51.7%
Westmeath 51,664 31.6% 7,233 8,814 45.1% 54.9%
Wexford 90,507 33.4% 14,461 15,220 48.8% 51.2%
Wicklow 85,067 38.3% 14,839 17,274 46.3% 53.7%
Total 2,867,960 34.8% 453,461 529,478 46.1% 53.9%

Aftermath[edit]

The functions of the Referendum Commission were altered by the Referendum Act 2001, so that it would no longer set out arguments on either side of a proposal.[9]

A second referendum was held on the Nice Treaty in October 2002, and the voters approved of the Twenty-sixth Amendment. Because of concerns that the Treaty would affect Irish neutrality, a further subsection was included on that occasion to address these fears.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2001". Office of the Houses of the Oireachtas. Archived from the original on 21 November 2007. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
  2. ^ "Order of Business. - Twenty-Fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2001: Second Stage". Houses of the Oireachtas. 3 April 2001. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  3. ^ "Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2001: Second Stage (Resumed)". Houses of the Oireachtas. 2 May 2001. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  4. ^ "Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2001: Committee and Remaining Stages". Houses of the Oireachtas. 3 May 2001. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  5. ^ "Twenty-fourth Amendment of the Constitution Bill, 2001: Committee and Remaining Stages". Houses of the Oireachtas. 4 May 2001. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  6. ^ "S.I. No. 158/2001 - Referendum Commission (Establishment) (No. 4) Order, 2001". Irish Statute Book. 17 April 2001. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Referendum Act, 1998". Irish Statute Book. 26 February 1998. Retrieved 21 May 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Referendum Results 1937–2015" (PDF). Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government. 23 August 2016. p. 68. Retrieved 24 May 2018.
  9. ^ "Referendum Act, 2001". Irish Statute Book. 22 December 2001. Retrieved 24 May 2018.

External links[edit]