Translations of An Bunreacht 1937

Oireachtas-Comissioned Literal Translation

Bunreacht Na hEireann A study of the Irish text

This study of the Irish text was commissioned by THE ALL-PARTY OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION and resulted in a literal English translation of BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN 1999

This website primarily refers to "JM Kelly The Irish Constitution", An Bunreacht 1937 and to the Oireachtas-commissioned literal translation of the "1999 Blue Book" constitution, "BUNREACHT NA hÉIREANN a study of the Irish text" by Micheál O' Cearúil - pictured on the left.

One of the reasons that this study of the Irish text was commissioned was because of the number of queries on, and challenges to, the original translation. While it would have been preferable to be able to refer to a literal translation of the 1937 constitution, none exists as yet. There is still huge value in comparing these two translations, especially in those articles which have not been amended.

Mícheál Mac Aonghusa commented "Micheál Ó Cearúil has produced an impressive scholarly work analysing the Irish text of Bunreacht na hÉireann, word for word, detailing the history of the terminology. In an remarkable number of cases he traces terms back to Old Irish (ninth century and earlier) or Middle Irish (c. 900-1200)"

"To the delight or chagrin of lawyers, the divergences have proved to be crucial on a number of occasions since 1938. As early as 1945 James Dillon warned: ‘some are praying to God that the ambiguities in the Irish phrases of the Constitution will not be invoked by some wily individual who will go into the court on foot of the Irish text and reject the English.’"

Click here to read Mícheál Mac Aonghusa's full review of the extensive translation "Bunreacht Na hÉireann A study of the Irish text" by Micheal Ó Cearúil

Foreword and extract from "Bunreacht Na hÉireann A Study of the Irish Text"

Foreword by Brian Lenihan TD
comments on a study of the Irish text