Wording for October referendum published

Thursday 20 October 2011 13.46
Power of inquiries would be strengthened if amendment passed
Power of inquiries would be strengthened if amendment passed

The wording of a constitutional amendment to strengthen the powers of Oireachtas inquiries has been published.

The proposed amendment will be voted on in a referendum on 27 October, the same day as the Presidential election.

In 2001, the High Court ruled the Oireachtas had no inherent right to conduct an inquiry that could make findings against an individual, shutting down an Oireachtas sub-committee investigation of the shooting of John Carthy in Abbeylara.

The change to the Constitution would allow either the Dáil or the Seanad to conduct an inquiry into matters of "general public importance"; would allow the inquiry to make findings in respect of the conduct of any person investigated; and would allow the Dáil or Seanad to "determine the appropriate balance between the rights of persons and the public interest for the purposes of ensuring an effective inquiry".