How to find Irish law

This guide explains how to find Republic of Ireland law in our library and online.

Primary legislation

Post-1922

The Oireachtas (Irish legislature) was created in 1922 following the declaration of independence.

You can find primary legislation made after 1922 using:

  • the electronic Irish Statute Book (eISB) – acts from 1922 onwards. This is produced by the Office of the Attorney-General, but is not the official version and may contain errors
  • Irish Current Law (Yearbooks and Monthly Digests) – acts from 1995 to 2010 (Bay 187)
  • Irish Current Law Statutes Annotated (1984-2010) – index, annotated versions of the acts, lists of legislation, progress of bills and a subject guide (offsite storage)
  • Irish Free State Acts – acts from 1922 to 1930 (offsite storage)
  • Index to the Statutes – cumulative index from 1922 to 1982 with a supplement up to 1985 (offsite storage)
  • Chronological tables of the statutes – acts from 1922 to 1995 (offsite storage)
  • Acts of the Oireachtas – acts from 1924 to 1996 (offsite storage)

You can buy copies of printed statutes from the Government Supplies Agency.

Call: +353 1647 6834

Email: publications@opw.ie

1801 to 1921

The Act of Union (Ireland) 1800 created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. There was no separate Irish parliament between 1801 and 1921 so the sources are the same as for UK acts.

You can find primary legislation from 1801 to 1921 in:

  • Bays 168 to 170
  • Justis (as enacted)
  • Westlaw UK and LexisLibrary (as amended)

Pre-1801

You can find Irish or pre-union statutes passed before 1801 in:

  • Statutes passed in the parliament held in Ireland (1310 to 1800) – this also has Westminster acts (offsite storage)
  • General index to the Irish or Pre-Union Statutes (1310 to 1800) – offsite storage

Amended and repealed legislation

You can find amended and repealed legislation using:

  • Irish Current Law (Yearbooks and Monthly Digests) (1995 to 2010) – commencement and implementation of European Commission Directives and Irish law (Bay 187)
  • Chronological Tables of the Statutes (1922 to 1995) – amendments (offsite storage)

Secondary legislation

You can find Irish statutory instruments using:

  • eISB (1922 to present)
  • Iris Oifigiuil – the official Irish State Gazette
  • the Government Publications Office
  • the website of the relevant government department or agency
  • Irish Current Law Statutes Annotated (Prelims and Tables) – lists statutory instruments from 1985 to 2010 (offsite storage)

Law reports

Pre-1922

You can find pre-1922 law reports using:

  • our selection of law report series from 1782 to 1866 (Bays 183 to 185)
  • The Irish Reports – the official series from 1867 to 2010, also known as Law Reports (Ireland) (Bay 184)
  • Irish Law Times – law reports and case digests from 1867 to 1922 (offsite storage)

Post-1922

You can find post-1922 law reports using:

  • The Irish Reports – the official series (Bays 186 to 187)
  • Irish Law Reports Monthly – reports from 1981 to 2006 (onsite storage)
  • Irish Law Times – reports and case digests from 1922 to 1980 and 1983 to 2005 (offsite storage)
  • Irish Legal Information Initiative (IRLII) – selection of leading Irish cases
  • British and Irish Legal Information Institute – judgments from the Irish Supreme Court and High Court from the 1980s and some leading decisions from earlier years

Case law

You can find Irish case law using:

  • Irish Digests – cases from 1867 to 1988 (Bay 187)
  • Irish Current Law (Yearbooks and Monthly Digests) – cases from 1995 to 2010 (Bay 187)
  • Irish Law Reports Monthly – cases from 1995 to 2006 (onsite storage)
  • IRLII – index of decisions in the Irish Supreme Court and the Irish High Court

To update a case, use Irish Current Law (Yearbooks and Monthly Digests) (1995 to 2010) in Bay 187. The monthly digests contain a cumulative case citator.

Resources

British and Irish Legal Information Institute

Iris Oifigiúil (Irish State Gazette)

Irish Legal Information Initiative

Law Society of Ireland Library

Office of the Attorney-General

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