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Constitutional Law

Constitutional law deals with the basic rights and rules set out in the Constitution of the Republic of Ireland. The Constitution is also frequently referred to by its Gaelic title Bunreacht na hEireann. Laws passed by the government of the day, or actions of state agencies or officials, may be found to be unconstitutional. Only the Superior Courts of the state- The High Court and The Supreme Court- may make a decision on the constitutionality of any disputed matter. The lower courts- The Circuit Courts and the District Courts- are then obliged to follow the interpretations of the Constitution provided by the Superior Courts. Bunreacht na hEireann is not the the supreme legal document in the Republic of Ireland. If there is a conflict between any provision of the Constitution and a provision of European Union Law, EU law will prevail.

Truths, damned truths and statistics

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.” One of the functions of a solicitor is to make the significant visible. On occasions this is easy; on others it is hard. It is easier if there is universal, or near-universal, acceptance of some aspect of reality. Much of reality is banal and the banal lacks significance, although it is true. “Truth”, therefore must be selected […]


Abolishing the Seanad

Seanad Election

There are many things wrong with Irish political and judicial institutions. We at McGarr Solicitors do not think that those serious defects should be ignored or that the electorate should be distracted from them by the campaign to abolish the Seanad. Our administration structures are in the form they now take because the Irish Constitution says so. For a number of reasons, those structures are not properly functioning. What is wrong with Irish political and judicial institutions? The Executive (Ministers […]


The Abolition of the Seanad referendum

We have declared our opposition to the abolition of the Seanad HERE.  Our opposition springs from the democratic deficit that is the Dail. If Dail Eireann functioned properly there would be no need to worry about the removal of the second house. Dail Eireann does not function properly and there is reason to worry. The Government intends to have a short campaign.  A short campaign will hinder effective opposition to the Seanad’s abolition. Campaigns are opportunities to educate the electorate […]


The Medical Council’s Guidance on Abortion

The Medical Council is the professional governing body for doctors in Ireland. It describes its role as being “responsible for protecting the public by promoting and better ensuring high standards of professional conduct and professional education, training and competence among doctors. Doctors must always be guided by their primary responsibility to act in the best interests of their patients.” To aid Doctors in meeting those responsibilities in difficult situations, the Medical Council has produced The Guide to Professional Conduct and […]


Corrib Gas update

The State parties appealed the judgment of Laffoy J. to the Supreme Court. The appeal came on for hearing before the Supreme Court on 24th October 2012 and finished that day. Judgment has been reserved.


The Children’s Referendum and Other Trust Issues

During the campaign for the Children’s Rights Referendum every person with any claim to credibility on the issue was in agreement. Children’s lives were going to be made potentially (and, in some cases, actually) better if the country voted Yes. This morning, as the boxes are opened and the tallies are incomplete, it appears that, as a result of the campaign, the support from the electorate for the Yes side dropped from over 70% to about 55-65%. In addition, very […]


Flying a Balloon?

The Gardaí have had a history of their own difficulties with search warrants and the like.



Domestically, what is in issue is this: on what possible moral basis does the Oireachtas claim the right to restrict the public expression of opinion?


The Credit Institutions (Stabilisation) Act 2010

We now know that barristers and solicitors are very poor judges of economic and financial matters. They (barristers) are the pool from which the judiciary are drawn. Why should they think they are superior?


Du.. Du.. Dubonnet!

Our plaintiffs, Catherine Murphy and Finian McGrath failed in their challenge to defend democratic principles; Pearse Doherty has not.