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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 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
  • Note the glossary that sets out meanings of all abbreviations used in the table of amendments
  • 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:

  • 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

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 370 frequently-consulted Acts. Around 170 of the revised Acts are pre-2005. The work of the Commission on this is ongoing (Law Reform Commission, [2020])

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.

Browse consolidated, updated legislation (selected Acts and SIs) in to view the amendment history of a piece of consolidated legislation as well as a list of leading cases that address its provisions. DCU Login required.

JustisOne provides access to all Acts of parliament since 1235, including some pre-1922 Acts still in force in Ireland that are not available via the Irish Statute Book or the Law Reform Commission. Go to Browse > Statutes > Ireland  | or Browse > Statutes > United Kingdom > UK non-devolved. DCU Login required

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

DCU Library would like to gratefully acknowledge the input of Daniel Hurley BL in the making of this guide.