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 1994.

Each Act enacted before 1 January 1994 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 1994 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 1994.

Each Act enacted since 1 January 1994 has its own table containing three sub-tables: commencement information, amendments and other effects, and other associated secondary legislation (SIs made under the Act) and effects. Work is continuing to extend this newer format to Acts enacted before 1994.

See 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 1994 up to the most recent date set out on the top of the relevant page are recorded. Amendments made since 1994 to pre-1994 statutory instruments are listed, but not changes to such statutory instruments before 1994. For example, all amendments made since 1 January 1994 to the Abattoirs Act, 1988 (Abattoirs) Regulations, 1989 are noted, but changes made between 1989 and 31 December 1993 are not at present.

  • For Acts from 1994 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.
    For Acts from before 1994 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...\").
    • 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.
  • Where a Revised Act has been prepared by the Law Reform Commission there is now a direct link from the Act on the eISB, from a tab at the top of the individual Act page, to the Revised Act on the Commission's web site.

    When viewing an Act by section there is also a direct link to the corresponding section of the Revised Act.

  • 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.

  • They are produced by the Law Reform Commission.

  • You can visit the glossary.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.
    For example
    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.
    For example
    mussel OR cockle

    NOT : To find documents that exclude a specific term, precede the excluded term with NOT
    For example
    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

  • Use double quotation marks to find an exact phrase.
    For example
    "criminal assets bureau"
    "income tax" OR "corporation tax"

  • 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.
    For example
    Rail*
    Finds rail, railway, railways, railroad, railroads etc.

    Use the * symbol at the end of a word to find regular plurals.
    For example
    mussel* OR cockle*
    Finds mussel, mussels, cockle, cockles

    Use the * symbol to represent a number of characters within a word.
    For example
    Behavi*r

    Finds behaviour or behavior
    Col*r
    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.
    For example
    G?is
    Finds Gais and Gáis
    Organi?ation
    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.

  • 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
    Ucht?la

    Please note that the wildcard ? symbol is not effective within double quotation marks or at the start or end of a word.

  • 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.
    For example
    "insurance cover"@5
    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.

  • 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.

    Screenshot of a research example
  • Example 1: limit search by year or years

    Screenshot of a research example

    This will limit your search to the years 1999, 2000 or 2010 only.

    Example 2: limit search by date range

    Screenshot of a research example

    This will limit your search to the years 1998, 1999, and within the range 2000 to 2015 only.

  • In the quick search which is available on each page, use the drop down arrow to choose Acts or SIs.
    The default search is

    Screenshot of a research example

    Change this to Act or SI to limit your search.

    Screenshot of a research example

    The advanced search screen also defaults to searching ALL legislation. Use the radio buttons to select either Acts or SIs.

    Screenshot of a research exampleScreenshot of a research example
  • Yes. For example,
    the search below retrieves the word exemption in Act number 5 of 2010 only.

    Screenshot of a research exampleScreenshot of a research example
  • 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.