No. 6 NAI DE 4/1/5

Constitution of Dáil Éireann

1 April 1919 1

ARTICLE 1
All legislative powers shall be vested in Dail Eireann, composed of Deputies, elected by the Irish people from the existing Irish Parliamentary Constituencies.

ARTICLE 2
(a) All executive powers shall be vested in the members, for the time being, of the Ministry.
(b)The Ministry shall consist of a President of the Ministry elected by Dail Eireann, and not more than nine Executive Officers including:

  • A Secretary of Finance,
  • A Secretary of Home Affairs,
  • A Secretary of Foreign Affairs,
  • A Secretary of National Defence.

each of whom the President shall nominate and have power to dismiss.
(c) Every member of the Ministry shall be a member of Dail Eireann, and shall at all times be responsible to the Dail.
(d) At the first meeting of Dail Eireann after their nomination by the President, or during the meeting at which the President shall himself have been elected to his office, the names of the Executive Officers shall be separately submitted to Dail Eireann for approval.
(e) The appointment of the President shall date from his election and the appointment of each Executive Officer from the date of the approval by the Dail of his nomination.
(f) The Ministry or any member thereof, may at any time be removed by vote of the Dail upon motion for that specific purpose, provided, that at least seven days' notice in writing of that motion shall have been given.
(g) The President may himself in writing nominate from among the members of the Ministry a President Substitute who shall act in his place and exercise all his powers (including the power to nominate a President Substitute with Presidential Status, and the power to nominate Substitute Ministers) in the event of the President becoming unable by reason of enemy action, or absence abroad, or illness, or other emergency, to perform the functions of his office; if occasion arises for the President Substitute to assume office he shall act as President of the Ministry until the President resumes his functions or resigns or until he himself becomes unable by reason of enemy action, absence abroad, illness, or other emergency, to perform the functions of the office; if at any time there is no President or President Substitute or if there is no President or President Substitute able to perform the functions of the Presidential Office, a meeting of Dail shall be convened to elect a President.
(h) Whenever any Member of the Ministry other than the President shall become unable by reason of enemy action, absence abroad, illness, or other emergency, to perform the functions of his office, the President may forthwith - and shall if the incapacity shall extend over thirty days - appoint another Deputy as Minister-Substitute to fill his place and exercise all his powers during his absence, but the name of every Substitute-Minister shall be submitted for approval to the next meeting of Dail after his appointment if the incapacity of the original Minister then continues.

ARTICLE 3

A Chairman elected annually by the Dail, and in his absence a Deputy Chairman so elected, shall preside at all meetings of Dail Eireann. Only members of the Dail shall be eligible for these offices. In case of the absence of the Chairman and Deputy Chairman the Dail shall fill the vacancies or elect a temporary Chairman.

ARTICLE 4

All monies required by the Ministry shall be obtained on vote of the Dail. The Ministry shall be responsible to the Dail for all monies so obtained, and shall present properly audited accounts for the expenditure of same during the month of November, 1919, and thereafter - twice yearly - in the months of May and November. The audit shall be conducted by an Auditor or Auditors appointed by the Dail. No member of the Dail shall be eligible for such appointment.

ARTICLE 5

This Constitution is provisional and is liable to alteration upon seven days' written notice of motion for that specific purpose.

1 The original constitution was agreed at the first meeting of the First Dáil on 21 January 1919. This version is that as subsequently amended on 1 April 1919.


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