1 Dec 2017, 11.48

The Seanad Public Consultation Committee will begin its public hearings on the status, treatment and use of the National Anthem on Tuesday, 5 December 2017.

The Committee has already sought and received submissions seeking views on this issue and has decided to invite a number of contributors to public hearings which will take place in the Seanad Chamber.

When this public process is complete, the Committee intends to publish a report on the matter for consideration by the Seanad and the Government.   

The agenda for the meeting is:

Public Consultation on the status, treatment and use of the National Anthem
(List of witnesses set out below)

Seanad Leas-Chathaoirleach and Committee Chairman, Senator Paul Coghlan said: “In October, the Seanad Public Consultation Committee issued a call for submissions on how the National Anthem should be treated. The Committee received responses to its invitation for submissions from a wide range of interested groups and individuals and I would like to thank all of those who sent in submission. On Tuesday, we will begin our hearings with a number of the contributors in the Seanad Chamber to discuss the issue in greater detail; to consider options such as the passing of legislation, if necessary, the issuing of guidelines, or that no change is necessary to the current public accessibility. We are looking forward to a productive, positive and interesting meeting.”

Senator Mark Daly has been appointed Rapporteur to lead in the compilation of the Report.

Senator Daly said: “The purpose of this consultation is to discuss with interested parties and citizens, including students, the most appropriate way the State should treat the National Anthem. This consultation process is being considered in the context of the music and English and Irish lyrics of the National Anthem no longer being in copyright. Legislative proposals have been made to address this issue and Seanad Éireann would like to consult with citizens on their views on this issue. The debate around this issue includes aspects of copyright law, cultural tolerance, respect for national symbols, public opinion, free speech and a range of other factors. All of these need to be considered as part of any discussion on the treatment of the National Anthem.”

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here.

Committee proceedings can also be viewed on the move, through the Houses of the Oireachtas Smartphone App, available for Apple and Android devices

Witness list:

Session One – from 10 am to 11.30 am.

Tony Fitzgerald (Lord Mayor of Cork)

Lt. Col Mark Armstrong (Director of the Defence Forces School of Music)

Joseph Nugent (Chief Administrative Officer at Garda Headquarters)

Councillor Nial Ring (Grandnephew of Liam Ring who translated Peader Kearney’s “Soldiers Song” into Amhrán Na bhFiann).

Mr. Raymond Daly, Author of historical songbook.  

Session Two – from 11.45 am to 1.30 pm.

Minister for Finance, Deputy Paschal Donohoe (or Minister of State and officials in his place)  

Dr. Eoin O’Dell, Associate Professor at the School of Law, Trinity College.
Ms. Hazel Tunney, Qualified Irish and European Trade Mark and Design Attorney.

Bishopstown Community School:
Mr. Alain Newstead, Student.
John Cottrell, member of the School Student Council.
Ms. Denise Dowling, Teacher.

Eureka Secondary School, Co. Meath (Transition Year students)  (Names to be confirmed)

Committee proceedings can be viewed live here https://beta.oireachtas.ie/en/oireachtas-tv/seanad-eireann-live/


Media enquiries

Ciaran Brennan,
Houses of the Oireachtas,
Communications Unit,
Leinster House,
Dublin 2
+353 1 618 3903
+353 86 0496518
Twitter: @OireachtasNews

Committee membership


Fianna Fáil

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Fine Gael

Fianna Fáil

Sinn Féin