IRISH CONSTITUTION. Dréacht-Bhunreacht na hEireann. (The Constitution of Ireland Signed by Eamonn de Valera). Mar do haontuíodh ag Dáil Eireann. As approved by Dáil Eireann.
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Dublin: Printed by Cahill. Foillsithe ag Oifig an tSoláthair, June, 1937. Crown octavo. pp. v, 117. Faded pink wrappers, titled in manuscript. Clipped signature of Éamon De Valera tipped in. Crease to cover. Some toning, foxing to titlepage. A very good copy.
In May, 1935 Eamon De Valera instructed John J. Hearn, the Law Officer of the Department of External Affairs, to prepare the heads of a new constitution to replace that of the 1922 Free State Constitution. In preparing the various drafts, he conferred with the leaders of the various religious denominations. Under the Constitution, the new title of the state became Eire (Article 4). It affirmed the unity of the country, stating that “the national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas” (rescinded by the Good Friday Agreement). The Irish Constitution, which was published on in the summer of 1937, met with a hostile reaction from the British press, but did not unduly disturb their government. It was approved by the Dail on 14 June and submitted to the people of Ireland in a referendum held on 1 July, the same day as the general election. The result was a massive majority for both the referendum and Fianna Fail.
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