Frequently Asked Questions
Legislative amendments were previously held in a section of the eISB known as the Legislation Directory. The information from the Legislation Directory has now been integrated into relevant parts of the site. For example, to find the list of amendments made to a particular Act, go to that Act and then click on the “Amendments, Commencements, SIs made under this Act” button.
Users should note that information is displayed differently in relation to Acts enacted before and after 1997.
Each Act enacted before 1 January 1997 appears in a table for the year in which the relevant Act was enacted and Acts appear in order of enactment in that table. Entries include details in relation to how each Act has been amended or otherwise affected. Details in relation to commencement information for Acts enacted prior to 1997 can be found on the Acts home page under Acts-More information, Commencement Orders. There is currently no list available of secondary legislation made under individual Acts enacted before 1 January 1997.
Each Act enacted since 1 January 1997 has its own table containing three sub-tables: commencement information, other associated secondary legislation (SIs made under the Act) and effects. Work is continuing to extend this newer format to Acts enacted before 1997.
See How will I know if a piece of legislation has been amended?
What can I find on the eISB?
The eISB includes all Acts of the Oireachtas from 1922 to the present, statutory rules and orders from 1922 to 1947, and statutory instruments from 1948 to the present.
It also includes most of the pre 1922 public and general statutes still in force in the State following the enactment of the Statute Law Revision Act 2007 (the Act of 2007). The Act of 2007 repealed all public and general statutes enacted before 6 December 1922 with the exception of those listed in Schedule 1 of that Act. In the case of a small number of those statutes, the full text is not available in electronic format.
The text of the Constitution of Ireland is also published on the site.
The site has further information about legislation, including a list of collective citations, a list of commencement orders, a list of Orders made under section 6(1) of the Ministers and Secretaries (Amendment) Act 1939 and a list of Regulations made under section 3 of the European Communities Act 1972.
Will I find new legislation on the eISB?
New Acts and statutory instruments are published as soon as possible after they have been notified in the Iris Oifigiúil and we have received them from the Houses of the Oireachtas and Government Publications. The homepage of the eISB contains information about the legislation most recently published in PDF format.
Why is the legislation I’m looking for not on this site?
Some legislation dating from before 1922 is not published on the site because it has either been repealed or is not available in electronic format.
Very recent Acts or statutory instruments may not yet have been published (see answer to previous question).
Is the legislation on this site the official version?
No, the electronic version is not the official version.
Article 25.3.5 of the Constitution provides that the text of an Act which is signed by the President and enrolled in the office of the Registrar of the Supreme Court shall be conclusive evidence of the provisions of such law.
Section 2 of the Documentary Evidence Act 1925 provides that prima facie evidence of an Act may be given in all Courts of Justice and in all legal proceedings by producing a paper copy published by Stationery Office. Section 3 of that Act contains a similar provision in relation to statutory instruments.
Where can I buy a paper copy of an Act or statutory instrument?
To buy paper copies of legislation, you can contact the Government Publications Office.
Where can I find a Bill?
You can find Bills and information on amendments to Bills on the Houses of the Oireachtas website.
How will I know if a piece of legislation has been amended?
The first step is to locate the relevant piece of legislation: Act or statutory instrument. At the top of the text of the Act or Statutory Instrument, you will see a box marked (in the case of Acts) “Amendments, Commencements, SIs made under Act” or (in the case of statutory instruments) “Amendments”. Click on this box to access amendment information.
In the case of statutory instruments, you should be aware that only amendments made between 1 January 1997 up to the most recent date set out on the top of the relevant page are recorded. Amendments made since 1997 to pre-1997 statutory instruments are listed, but not changes to such statutory instruments before 1997. For example, all amendments made since 1 January 1997 to the Abattoirs Act, 1988 (Abattoirs) Regulations, 1989 are noted, but changes made between 1989 and 31 December 1996 are not at present.
How do I find out if an Act has come into operation?
For Acts from 2000 or later:
Simply click on the button at the top of the Act marked “Amendments, Commencements, SIs made under Act”. The table entitled “commencement” sets out the relevant commencement information for that Act. (You should also carry out step 2.b. below to find any commencement orders made since this table was last updated.)
For Acts from before 2000 you should take the following steps:
Look at the text of the Act itself:
- If there is no information regarding commencement, the Act came into force on the date on which it was passed by the Oireachtas. This date can be found under the long title of the Act.
- Sometimes a provision or provisions of an Act specifies a date on which all or part of it is to come into effect (e.g. "This Act comes into operation one month after the date of its passing." or "This section shall come into effect on 3 February 2015.")
- Sometimes a provision or provisions of an Act states that a commencement order is required to bring all or part of an Act into effect (e.g. "This Act shall come into operation on such day or days as the Minister may appoint by order..."). See point 2 in relation to this.
Finding a commencement order:
- The eISB includes a list of commencement orders listed by Act.
- To find commencement orders that have been made since the last update to the commencement order list, you can check the statutory instruments on the eISB made since the last update.
- Look at the text of the Act itself:
Where can I find the text of an Act with the amendments included (Revised Act)?
In the case of some Acts, an unofficial or administrative version of the Act as amended is available on the website of the Law Reform Commission.
How often is the amendment and commencement information updated?
In general, tables of amendments, commencements and SIs made under Acts are updated every 4-8 weeks, subject to the availability of new legislation. You can find the current date up to which the tables are updated on each relevant page.
Who produces amendment information and revised Acts?
They are produced by the Law Reform Commission.
I don’t understand how to read the abbreviations in the tables of amendments: where can I find out what they mean?
You can visit the glossary.
Is all legislation on the eISB searchable?
Only hyperlinked versions (HTML versions) of legislation are searchable from the quick search and advanced search page of the eISB. While PDF versions of SIs and Acts are published on the eISB as soon as possible, corresponding HTML versions may not yet be available.
Always check the lists of Acts and SIs on the Acts and SIs home pages.
If the hyperlinked version of an Act or an SI is not live (not a link), then it is not searchable on the eISB.
What is the default search on the eISB?
Exact word search is the default search on the eISB.
For example, a search for the term child retrieves documents which contain that exact term only - documents which contain for example,
children, child's will not be retrieved. AND is the default search operator. If you do not use AND, OR or NOT to connect your search terms, the eISB search engine defaults to an AND search.
For example, a search for pension spouse = pension AND spouse.
How do I combine my search terms using AND, OR or NOT (Boolean Operators)?
You must use capital letters for AND, OR and NOT.
AND : To find documents that contain all the terms you enter, separate the terms with AND.
tax AND refund
road AND rail AND air
OR : To find documents that contain any of the terms you enter, separate the terms with OR.
mussel OR cockle
NOT : To find documents that exclude a specific term, precede the excluded term with NOT
Tax NOT income
Use Brackets if you are combining AND, OR or NOT in a search query. This orders the search query logically. Terms in brackets are processed first.
For example, the following search will find documents which contain either oil or gas, and they must also contain the term convention.
(oil OR gas) AND convention
How do I search for an exact phrase?
Use double quotation marks to find an exact phrase.
"criminal assets bureau"
"income tax" OR "corporation tax"
Can I use wildcard and truncation operators?
The truncation * symbol represents any number of subsequent characters in a word. It can be used in a number of ways:
Use the * symbol at the root of a word to find word variants.
Finds rail, railway, railways, railroad, railroads etc.
Use the * symbol at the end of a word to find regular plurals.
mussel* OR cockle*
Finds mussel, mussels, cockle, cockles
Use the * symbol to represent a number of characters within a word.
Finds behaviour or behavior
Finds colour or color
The wildcard ? symbol represents a single character within a word.
This is useful for words which may have an accented character, for example a fada or variant spelling.
Finds Gais and Gáis
Finds organisation and organization
Please note that neither the truncation * symbol nor the wildcard ? symbol are effective within double quotation marks or at the start of a word. The wildcard ? symbol is not effective at the end of a word.
How do I search for a word containing a fada?
Please note that neither the truncation * symbol nor the wildcard ? symbol are effective within double quotation marks or at the start of a word.
The search engine views accented and non-accented characters as distinct characters. For example a search for the term Uchtála is not the same as a search for the term Uchtala. To find both spellings of the word you could do either of the searches below:
Uchtála OR Uchtala
Please note that the wildcard ? symbol is not effective within double quotation marks or at the start or end of a word.
How do I search for a number of terms in proximity to each other?
You can carry out a search for 2 or 3 words only, in proximity to each other. Enter the terms in double quotation marks, followed by the @ symbol, followed by the desired number of words.
Finds documents which contain both the terms insurance and cover, but only if they are within 5 words of each other.
"insurance cover contract"@8
Finds documents which contain all three terms insurance, cover and contract, but only if they are within 8 words of each other.
Can I search within my search results?
Yes. On the search results page you will see the box below. Select the 'Within Results' option and enter your search terms.
You can also begin a new search from here by selecting the 'New Search' option.
Can I limit my search by date?
Example 1: limit search by year or years
This will limit your search to the years 1999, 2000 or 2010 only.Example 2: limit search by date range
This will limit your search to the years 1998, 1999, and within the range 2000 to 2015 only.
Can I limit my search by Act or SI?
In the quick search which is available on each page, use the drop down arrow to choose Acts or SIs.
The default search is
Change this to Act or SI to limit your search.
The advanced search screen also defaults to searching ALL legislation. Use the radio buttons to select either Acts or SIs.
Can I search for terms within a specific Act or SI?
Yes. For example,
the search below retrieves the word exemption in Act number 5 of 2010 only.
Can I search by subject area?
There is no subject term search in the eISB. However, the eISB contains a link to the Law Reform Commission's Classified List of Legislation.
How can I get help with the site?
A technical helpdesk service is available for the Irish Statute Book. Neither the Office of the Attorney General nor the helpdesk provide assistance with interpretative queries on legislation, matters relating to the updating of content or the issuing of new content.
Please do not call with interpretive questions on individual pieces of legislation, as unfortunately, these cannot be answered. Such queries are best directed to the Department or body that created the Act or Statutory Instrument in question.
The helpdesk telephone number is or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can I contact for legal advice or help understanding a particular legislation item?
You may be able to get information or assistance from the Citizens' Information Board (www.citizensinformation.ie), or
you may need professional legal advice.
How can I give feedback on the eISB?
You can fill out our feedback form.
FAQ version as at 2017-1-11