This book challenges the myths surrounding the Irish Free Constitution by analysing the document in its context, by looking at how the Constitution was drafted and elucidating the true nature of the document. It examines the reasons why the Constitution did not function as anticipated and investigates whether the failures of the document can be attributed to errors of judgment in the drafting process or to subsequent events and treatment of the document.
As well as giving a comprehensive account of the drafting stages and an analysis of the three alternative drafts for the first time, the book considers the intellectual influences behind the Constitution and the central themes of the document.
This work constitutes a new look at this historic document through a legal lens and the analysis benefits from the advantage of hindsight as well as the archival material now available.
Given the fact that the current Constitution substantially reproduces much of the 1922 text, the work will be of interest to modern constitutional scholars as well as legal historians and anyone with an interest in the period surrounding the creation of the Irish State.