Talk:Amendments to the Constitution of Ireland

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"Amendments to" Vs. "Amendments of"[edit]

Shouldn't the title be 'Amendments to the constitution of Ireland'? Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 21:51, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

It should indeed. I'll rename it. (I knew something about the page didn't look right, but I couldn't recognise what! Of course of should be to. Well spotted. FearÉIREANN 00:07, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

You're not exactly right about this fellas so please don't move the article. If you look at the titles and provisions of the various constitutional amendment acts they all use "amendments of" rather than "to". So, for example, the act for the most recent Twenty-seventh Amendment provides in section 2 (my italics added):
(1) The amendment of the Constitution effected by this Act shall be called the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution.
(2) This Act may be cited as the Twenty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution Act 2004.
Of course the practice in the United States is "amendments to". I would be interested to know why the custom has evolved this way in Ireland and whether or not any other country has "amendments of" its constitution.
Iota 03:53, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

OK — though I wasn't going on U.S. usage, just normal English. It's not that I think 'amendment of' is wrong, it's just that 'amendment to' is more usual (I think that 'of' is more usual when what's being changed is an action, a direction, etc., while 'to' is usual when it's something like a document). As the article's text used 'amendment to', even in the first phrase of the summary, I just assumed that the title was slip.

As for why it's evolved that way, I'd blame the lawyers; they do write a peculiar form of English, usually defended as making things less ambigious, but often doing no such thing. Mel Etitis (Μελ Ετητης) 10:36, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

People may indeed refer to individual amendments of the constitution, but generally people speak collectively about amendments to the constitution. When one is amending the constitution the amendment is not yet part of the text, so one can talk correctly about an amendment of the text or to the text, with either being acceptable. Looking retrospectively one is describing the constitution which includes the amendments, so it is standard to talk about amendments that were added to the text. Of is taken as implying a form of separation between the amendments and the constitution, when in fact, that separation ceases when the amendment is added to the text. It is a minor linguistic point, but my vote would incline to use to rather than of in the context of this article. It also corresponds with wikipedia policy of 'most common usage'. There are many exceptions where most common form is technically wrong, or where there are linguistic, historical or other reasons for using a different form to what is most widely used (eg, one should refer to the Gladstone ministry rather than the Gladstone government because ministry rather than government was the contemporary word to use. Similarly one should call the main Irish prison Mountjoy Gaol rather than Mountjoy Jail because the former was the contemporary spelling used when it was created, was the predominant usage until recently and is still used by many in preference to the American english "jail".) Of here rather than on is not sufficiently used, or has sufficient legal, historical or political justification, to use in preference to the more widely used on. But it is a minor point. Overall it is a very good article indeed. Congratulations to the person who started it and whomever added to it. It is the sort of article that makes wikipedia so useful sometimes. FearÉIREANN 21:44, 23 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Jtdirl/FearÉIREANN just moved this article to Amendments to the Constitution of Ireland, and I've reversed this. The convention on Wikipedia, as we all know, is to achieve a consensus before moving an article. I think I've made clear that I oppose this move so given only two contributors have an opinion there is no consensus. I'm not an administrator so I've been forced to do a cut and paste as an interim measure. Someone else will have to move the article back using the proper method. I'll go into a bit more detail on why I oppose the move on this talkpage when I get a chance. Iota 02:37, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

You should never ever ever do cut and paste. It is the cardinal rule on wikipedia. You have now created two talk pages with different names to the same article and jammed up links. If you had waited 30 seconds you would have found out that the reason the move was made was because it was the 100% advice of all academics (law lecturers, political scientists and english lecturers) who say that of can be used to describe singular proposed amendments, because they are literally an amendment of the constitution. But collectively they are never described as of and always described as to because you are talking about adding amendments (plural) to the constitution. You cannot add a series of amendments of a constitution. It is elementary. I was simply putting the page at the correct legal and grammatical title, given that it is named in the plural, not the singular. [rest of the comment removed by its author]. FearÉIREANN 02:51, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

I accept Iota make a mistake. He has apologied for the error. I've erased one of the two talk pages and redirected this one to its space, and rolled back all his changes, so all the archives and talk pages are all connected to each other.Jeez. I didn't think I was that technically capable! :-) So mess untangled, links and hopefully peace restored. FearÉIREANN 03:34, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Well we can agree now that cut-and-pastes are a bad idea. However I still fundamentally reject the idea that it's permissable for an individual to unilaterally by-pass the normal process of achieving consensus for moving an article, no matter how justified or correct they may feel the move is. Decisions are taken on Wikipedia collectively, not by dictat. At the very least prior consultation is a courtesy to those who have been involved in creating an article. I think you are very wrong if you think this kind of unilateralism is how things are done, but if you disagree then I don't see much point in getting into a protracted debate about it. Iota 17:23, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

It is actually standard for grammatical and factual changes to be changed directly by a move. Consensus is central in debating issues like correct name - eg, Bunreacht na hEireann or Constitution of Ireland, Belfast Agreement of Good Friday Agreement? But it is standard for errors in grammar, spelling mistakes, names not following the Manual of Style and Naming Conventions, etc to be changed unilaterally. That happens all over wikipedia all the time. All I did was remove the grammatically inelegant and technically incorrect use of of when speaking collectively about a series of amendments, and replace it by the grammatically, linguistically and technically correct on. FearÉIREANN 19:02, 26 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Disputed: UK citizens' voting elegibility in constitutional referenda[edit]

I believe this statement may be inaccurate: "While United Kingdom citizens resident in the state may vote in a general election, only Irish citizens can participate in a referendum."

Article 47 section 3 of the Irish constitution states that "Every citizen who has the right to vote at an election for members of Dáil Éireann shall have the right to vote at a Referendum." these statements seem to be contradictory.

I am unable to verify whether this section was amended after the 20th Amendment.

here is the source I have used


According to to vote in a referendum:
"Who can vote? You must be an Irish citizen. You must be at least 18 years old. Your name must be on the Register of Electors." [1]
I know, Wikipedia isn't a source but from Ninth Amendment of the Constitution of Ireland: "The purpose of the Ninth Amendment was to allow UK citizens resident in the Republic to vote in Dáil elections. This was to reciprocate the Ireland Act 1949, which had granted Irish citizens resident in the UK the right to vote in elections to the British parliament. The effect of the amendment was to allow the Oireachtas (parliament) to extend the right to vote at Dáil elections to any non-citizens it chooses by simply passing a law. The amendment did not affect presidential elections or referendums, for which one must still be an Irish citizen in order to vote." Article 47 section 3 refers to Irish citizens only. Snappy (talk) 04:23, 3 December 2008 (UTC)

Good to know, thanks for clearing that up.

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Different background colours for repealed amendments[edit]

I'm not sure I like the idea. The peach background chose is too close to my eyes to the pink for a rejected referendum. These amendments were carried in 1983 and 1992, even if later repealed, and should be shown in green so that readers can see which referendums were carried by voters. -Iveagh Gardens (talk) 14:44, 28 May 2018 (UTC)

The other catch is what counts as a repealed amendment. If the 36th will shortly repeal the 8th, 13th and 14th, we should note that the 28th amendment repealed the 10th, 11th, 18th, 24th and 26th amendments. — Blue-Haired Lawyer t 00:01, 29 May 2018 (UTC)
Well spotted! The colours should simply indicate whether it passed or failed when proposed! —Iveagh Gardens (talk) 08:54, 29 May 2018 (UTC)


Why is the numbering so inconsistent with regards to those that were not approved? Why is there no 12th, 22nd, 24th, 25th, 32nd, or 35th amendments, while in the case of the 3rd, 10th, 28th, and 30th amendments, the numbers were not skipped over, despite preceding amendments defeated in referenda? XinaNicole (talk) 08:16, 5 June 2018 (UTC)

It is explained here [List of failed amendments to the Constitution of Ireland#Missing numbers]]. I've added a link to it in the Amendments section. Spleodrach (talk) 15:45, 5 June 2018 (UTC)