Skip to main content

Find legislation: Primary legislation (IRL)

This guide suggests where to look for Irish and European legislation

Explanatory note and resources

Primary legislation in Irish law refers to Acts of the Oireachtas. The Irish Constitution, Bunreacht na hÉireann, currently in force is the Constitution Act, 1937 (as amended)


The Irish Statute Book website, produced by the Attorney General's Office provides access to the full text (unofficial version) of all Acts of the Oireachtas. The print version is the official version and you will find it in the Government Publications section on the first floor of the O'Reilly Library on the Glasnevin campus.

  • Search the eIrish Statute Book by the name of an Act, by year, or by keyword (in advanced search)
  • View amendments, commencement orders; any statutory instruments made under the Act
  • Jump to short title at the end of each Act for correct citation
  • Excellent FAQ section

The eIrish Statute Book "contains electronic versions of Acts and Statutory Instruments in the official language or languages in which they were enacted or made. Where an Act was enacted in both official languages (for example an Act to amend the Constitution) both official language versions are available on the eISB" (Irish Statute Book, 2016)


Full text versions of Acts of the Oireachtas are also available on the website of the Houses of the Oireachtas. Go to Bills and acts > Acts. This site is particularly useful because a link is provided alongside the Act to the Bill it initiated from, showing the stages the Bill came through before enactment.

See also: acts.ie

  • Search by the name of an Act, by year, number and section of an Act, or by keyword

  • Where translation of an act is available, it is possible to view the Irish and English versions side by side in split screen view


BAILII by UCC also provides access to the full text of Irish (as well as Northern Irish, Scottish, Welsh and UK-) Acts. Click on A-Z legislation title index > Select Ireland. The alphabetical listing includes primary and secondary legislation.


View the full text of an up-to-date version of an Act, including all amendments made, in the Revised acts listing by the Law Reform Commission

This list currently includes the full text of some 280 frequently-consulted Acts. Around 135 of the revised Acts are pre-2006. The work of the Commission to publish the full text of all amended Acts from 2006 is ongoing (Law Reform Commission, [2016])

The Law Reform Commission also holds responsibility for the Legislation Directory, previously the Chronological Table of the Statutes. The Commission's Classified List of Legislation in Ireland is constantly reviewed and updated and lists all Acts in force with all current SIs made under the Act.

Notes:

  • The Classified List of Legislation is currently in draft format (November 2016) awaiting feedback from government departments.
  • This (draft) list does not include any SIs which for any reason are now obsolete and|or no longer apply.

Citing primary legislation

See chapter 2.1 of the OSCOLA Ireland guide (2nd ed.) for rules on citing the Constitution (Pg. 11), or see the quick reference guide.

See chapter 2.3 of the OSCOLA Ireland guide (2nd ed.) for rules on citing primary legislation (Pg. 17-18), or see the quick reference guide.

Alternatively, see chapter 2.4 of the OSCOLA guide (4th ed.) (Pg. 23-26)

Quick links

Contact for this guide

Victoria Smyth - Subject Librarian for Humanities and Social Sciences, responsible for the School of Theology, Philosophy, and Music; the School of History and Geography; the School of English; and the School of Fiontar agus Scoil na Gaeilge in DCU Libraries.

You can email me or ask for me at Library Reception in Cregan Library, St Patrick's Campus.

Email: victoria.smyth@dcu.ie

Phone: 01 700 8327 (Mon & Wed)

Phone: 01 884 2179 (Tues, Thurs, Fri)