The Rise of Fianna Fáil and the Failure of the Constitution of the Irish Free State

  • Donal K. Coffey
Part of the Palgrave Modern Legal History book series (PMLH)


The question of the establishment of the 1937 Constitution is inextricably linked to the failure of the 1922 Constitution. The failure to entrench the 1922 Constitution, either as a matter of legal or political constitutionalism, undermined its theoretical underpinnings as a form of higher law—a fact that was appreciated at the time. The rise of the nationalist Fianna Fáil government coincided, and indeed prompted, this erosion of constitutional norms in the Free State. Notwithstanding this erosion, in their first year in office, Fianna Fáil were to find themselves institutionally frustrated in the controversies relating to the governor-general and the oath of allegiance.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Donal K. Coffey
    • 1
  1. 1.Max Planck Institute for European Legal HistoryFrankfurt am MainGermany

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