Drafting the Irish Free State Constitution

By Laura Cahillane

Drafting the Irish Free State Constitution


  • Hardcover
  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: eBook
  • ISBN: 978-1-5261-0019-1
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Published Date: July 2016
  • BIC Category: British and Irish Politics, Law / General, Constitutional & Administrative Law, Irish Studies, Law, Constitution, LAW / Constitutional


Drafting the Irish Free State Constitution challenges the myths surrounding the Irish Free Constitution by analysing the document in its proper historical context, by looking at how the Constitution was drafted and elucidating the true nature of the document. It examines the reasons why the Constitution did not function as anticipated and investigates whether the failures of the document can be attributed to errors of judgement in the drafting process or to subsequent events and treatment of the document.

As well as giving a comprehensive account of the drafting stages and an analysis of the three alternative drafts for the first time, the book considers the intellectual influences behind the Constitution and the central themes of the document. This work constitutes a new look at this historic document through a legal lens and the analysis benefits from the advantage of hindsight as well as from the fact that the archival material is now available.


1 The Constitution Committee and the beginning of the drafting process
2 The drafts
3 Consideration by the government of the three drafts
4 British reaction to the draft constitution
5 Debates in the constituent assembly
6 Themes and influences
7 The people's constitution
8 Anti-party politics
9 The legacy of the Irish Free State Constitution

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