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Irish Constitutional Amendment Referendums, 2011

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Two Irish Constitutional Amendment Referendums were voted on in Ireland on October 27, 2011.

The first amendment was approved, the second was defeated.

The first referendum sought to reduce the pay of judges. The measure will amend the 29th Amendment of the Irish Constitution which will make it that judge's salaries are subject to the same cuts as other public sector workers. Though most current judges had taken a pay cut, the government did not officially have the power to reduce their pay.[1] The pay of the judges will only be cut if it is in the public's interest. This will also mean that judges will also have to pay into the Public Service Pension program.[2]

  • YES 1,393,877 (79.74%) Approveda
  • NO 354,134 (20.26%)[3]

The second referendum would have allow the Oireachtas to establish an "effective system of inquiry, which can secure effective and cost-efficient parliamentary scrutiny of issues of significant public importance." There was debate about what exactly was meant by this measure, the government had not gave clarification and it took a while for them to release the ballot text.[1] This measure would have allowed the Dáil or the Seanad to pursue inquiries alone or in conjunction with the other House in regards to any person serving in the House.[2] One of the Presidential candidates, Mary Davis, had stated that she had voted against this measure, noting that she felt if it were to be approved it would have undermine the rights of the citizens. Eight former Attorneys Generals also issued a letter stating their opposition to this amendment as well, that extending the Oireachtas powers in this manner would have gone against civil liberties. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties had also noted its opposition to the amendment.[4]

  • YES 812,008 (46.66%)
  • NO' 928,175 (53.34%) Defeatedd[3]

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