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Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Act 1936

The Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Act, 1936 (Act no. 18 of 1936; previously Bill no. 20 of 1934) was an act of the Oireachtas (parliament) of the Irish Free State which abolished Seanad Éireann, the upper house of the Oireachtas, which thenceforth was unicameral, with Dáil Éireann as the sole house. The bill was introduced in 1934 by the Fianna Fáil government of Éamon de Valera, which was frustrated by the Seanad's repeated use of its power to delay (though not veto) legislation. In particular, Fianna Fáil favoured eliminating symbols of monarchy from the Free State, which the Seanad, with more Southern Unionist members, feared would antagonise the United Kingdom.

The Seanad opposed the bill, declining in June 1934 to give it a second reading.[1] The Dáil resubmitted the bill in December 1935[2] and the Seanad passed a motion declining to pass it unless a replacement second chamber was created.[3] In May 1936, the Dáil overrode the Seanad's refusal.[4]

The act deleted 16 articles of the 1922 Constitution and made consequential amendments to numerous others. It also increased from the threshold for passing a resolution of impeachment (of judges or the Comptroller and Auditor General) from a simple majority to a four-sevenths supermajority, since only one house, rather than two, would thenceforth be voting on such a resolution.[5]

When a new Seanad was created by the 1937 Constitution it was in a weakened form with measures to ensure a likely government majority (such as allowing 11 senators to be nominated by the Taoiseach of the day). A 2013 attempt to abolish the Seanad was rejected by referendum. The 1936 act was formally repealed as spent by the Statute Law Revision Act 2016.

ReferencesEdit

SourcesEdit

  • "Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Act, 1936". electronic Irish Statute Book. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  • "Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Act, 1936 : Dáil debates". Bills and Acts. Oireachtas. 22 March 1934. Retrieved 4 October 2018.

CitationsEdit

  1. ^ "Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Bill, 1934 — Second Stage (Resumed)". Seanad Éireann debate. 1 June 1934. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  2. ^ "Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Bill, 1934 — Motion Under Article 38A of the Constitution". Dáil Éireann debate. 12 December 1935.
  3. ^ "Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Bill, 1935 — Motion by Senator Douglas (Resumed)". Seanad Éireann debate. 16 January 1936.
  4. ^ "Constitution (Amendment No. 24) Bill, 1934 — Motion of Enactment". Dáil Éireann debate. 28 May 1936. Retrieved 4 October 2018.
  5. ^ Ruane, Bláthna (June 2013). "The Proposed Abolition of the Seanad and the Implications for Judicial Independence" (PDF). Bar Review. Dublin: Law Library.