The Royal Irish Academy/Acadamh Ríoga na hÉireann champions research. We identify and recognise Ireland’s world class researchers. We support scholarship and promote awareness of how science and the humanities enrich our lives and benefit society. We believe that good research needs to be promoted, sustained and communicated. The Academy is run by a Council of its members. Membership is by election and considered the highest academic honour in Ireland.

Read more about the RIA

Transcripts from the Origins of the Irish Constitution

Due to the voluminous nature of extant documentary material relating to the drafting of the Constitution, it was not possible to provide transcripts of all relevant material in the published volume. Photographs of some of these documents are thus provided here and are intended to further illustrate various points of discussion raised in the published volume.

Readers will also find guides to several important Oireachtas debates relating to constitutional questions, from the late 1920s up to and including the debate on the Second Amendment of the Constitution Bill in 1941.

The website has been designed to mirror the structure of the volume, with fourteen separate sections corresponding to each chapter of the published volume.

The Editorial Board and the Royal Irish Academy wish to express their appreciation to Geraldine Kennedy MRIA, former editor of The Irish Times, Gerard O’Regan, editor, The Irish Independent and Eamon de Valera, chairman, Irish Press plc, for permission to reproduce extracts from their respective newspapers, as well as to the National Archives of Ireland for permission to reproduce material under their care.

To see the transcipts please click on the links to the chapters below:

Comparison with the Weimar Constitution


  • Chapter I: The Irish Free State Constitution Undermined, 1928–34
  • Chapter II: The Constitution Committee, 1934
  • Chapter III: The State (Ryan) v. Lennon and Appeals to the Privy Council, 1934–5
  • Chapter IV: Drafting a new Constitution, 1935
  • Chapter V: The Abolition of the Seanad, 1936
  • Chapter VI: Submissions from Religious Bodies and Discussions with the Churches
  • Chapter VII: External Relations and Abolishing the Office of Governor General, 1936
  • Chapter VIII: Drafting Resumed, September 1936–March 1937
  • Chapter IX: Observations on the Draft Constitution, March 1937
  • Chapter X: Revising the Draft Constitution, April 1937
  • Chapter XI: Reaction to the Constitution, May–July 1937
  • Chapter XII: Preparing to Implement the Constitution, May 1937–June 1938
  • Chapter XIII: First Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1939
  • Chapter XIV: Constitutional Challenges and the Second Amendment, 1939–41

Stay up to date with the Royal Irish Academy newsletter

Sign up now