There are currently 3 bills before the Oireachtas that would amend the Irish Constitution.
– Twenty Eighth Amendment of the Constitution (No. 3) Bill 2006
– Twenty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution (No. 2) Bill 2006
– Twenty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2006
Twenty Eighth Amendment of the Constitution (No. 3) Bill 2006
This bill is sponsored by Deputy Dan Boyle of the Green Party. It would amend Articles 12, 13 and 21 of the Constitution.
It would amend subsection 1, of section 3, of Article 12 reducing the term of the office of President from 7 to 5 years. It also changes the way of nominating a candidate for President by reducing the number of members of the Oireachtas signatures you need to 5 or by gaining 20,000 signatures of members of electoral register.
In amending Article 13 it will insert a new amendment which will make the President address a Joint Sitting of the Oireachtas on an annual basis.
In amending Article 21 it will amend section 8 so that the Council of State has to meet 3 times a year.
Twenty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution (No. 2) Bill 2006
This bill is also sponsered by Deputy Dan Boyle. This bill will amend Articles 12 and 16 of the Constitution. This bill basically allows for all citizens over the age of 18 to run for Dáil Eireann and for President.
Twenty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution Bill 2006
This bill is sponsored by Michael D. Higgins of the Labour Party.
This bill would actually insert a new article to the Irish Constitution, Article 11A which would read as follows.
CULTURAL HERITAGE, THE ENVIRONMENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS
1. The State is custodian of the cultural heritage of the people, including its archeological, architectural, monumental, industrial, artistic and scientific heritage. The State is entitled, in accordance with law and on payment of such reward as may be prescribed, to claim ownership of newly discovered objects forming part of the cultural heritage. It is under a duty, for the performance of which adequate provision must be made by law, to secure the preservation of the cultural heritage and, as far as practicable, the retention of heritage objects within the State and their reasonable accessibility.
2. The State is also custodian of the physical environment, on land and sea and in the air, including plant and animal life, landscapes, seascapes and geological formations. The State and all other public authorities are under a duty, as far as practicable, to protect the environment as part of the common heritage of the people and to preserve its unique features, to promote and follow policies of sustainable
development and to safeguard the interests of future generations.
These are I believe sensible amendments to the Irish Constitution and I would not vote against any in a referendum. Of course the likely hood of any of these bills being put to the people is very unlikely due to the fact that they come form the opposition parties. But we will have a referendum next year but on the Rights of the Child, and I will post on that as soon as the bill is published.
An online version of the Irish Constitution is availible at www.oefre.unibe.ch/law/icl/ei00000_.html but it is slightly out of date as it has not been updated since 1995.
All the Bills published since 1997 can be accessed online on the Oireachtas Wesbite