Dormant Accounts Act, 2001


2.—(1) In this Act, except where the context otherwise requires—

“account” includes—

(a) a deposit account, share account or current account, by whatever name called, that is personal, corporate, charitable, resident or non-resident,

(b) a deposit receipt,

(c) a petty balances account,

(d) a savings certificate,

(e) a savings bond,

(f) an amount payable to a person under an instalment savings scheme,

(g) a fixed deposit, and

(h) an account prescribed under section 9 ;

“account holder” means—

(a) a person who holds an account,

(b) a person who, in respect of an account, is authorised, in writing, to act as the agent of the person who holds the account,

(c) a person who is authorised under a power of attorney to manage and control an account,

(d) where a person who holds an account is deceased, the heirs, executors, administrators and assigns of that person, or

(e) a class of person prescribed under section 9 ,

and “holder” shall be construed accordingly;

“Agency” means the National Treasury Management Agency;

“Board” means the Dormant Accounts Fund Disbursements Board established by section 30 ;

“dormancy period” means—

(a) a period of not less than 15 years ending on—

(i) 31 March 2002, and

(ii) 30 September in each subsequent year commencing on 30 September 2003,


(b) any other period prescribed under section 9 ;

“dormant account” shall be construed in accordance with section 7 ;

“establishment day” means the day appointed by the Minister under section 3 to be the establishment day for the purposes of this Act;

“financial year” means—

(a) in the case of the Agency and the Board, the period of 12 months ending on 31 December in each year, and

(b) in the case of an institution, the financial year of the institution concerned;

“fixed deposit” means a deposit of moneys with an institution for a period and at a rate of interest fixed by the institution;

“Fund” means the Dormant Accounts Fund established by section 17 ;

“health board” means—

(a) a health board established under the Health Act, 1970 , and

(b) the Eastern Regional Health Authority, an Area Health Board and the Health Boards Executive, established under the Health (Eastern Regional Health Authority) Act, 1999 ;

“instalment savings scheme” means a scheme to which section 53 of the Finance Act, 1970 , applies;

“institution” means an institution referred to in section 8 ;

“investment and disbursements account” means the investment and disbursements account of the Fund;

“local authority” means a local authority for the purposes of the Local Government Act, 1941 ;

“Minister” means the Minister for Social, Community and Family Affairs;

“petty balances account” means an account, by whatever name called, into which an institution transfers moneys from accounts which, in accordance with its practice and procedure—

(a) contain an amount below the minimum amount required by the institution for the purpose of maintaining separate accounts, and

(b) are deemed by the institution to be inactive;

“power of attorney” means an instrument signed by or by direction of a person (the donor), or a provision contained in such an instrument, giving the donee the power to act on behalf of the donor in accordance with the terms of the instrument;

“prescribed” means prescribed by regulations made by the Minister;

“register” means the register of dormant accounts established under section 14 ;

“reserve account” means the reserve account of the Fund;

“savings bond” means a savings bond issued under section 54 of the Finance Act, 1970 ;

“savings certificate” means a certificate issued by the Minister for Finance under section 30 of the Finance Act, 1940 , in accordance with rules made for that purpose;

“transaction”, in relation to an account, means—

(a) in the case of a savings bond, savings certificate or instalment savings scheme, encashment or partial encashment by the account holder,

(b) in the case of a deposit receipt or fixed deposit, encashment or partial encashment by the account holder, and

(c) in any other case, the debiting from or crediting to the account, of an amount, by the account holder.

(2) In the case of an account in the form of a fixed deposit, savings bond, savings certificate or instalment savings scheme, the dormancy period commences on the expiration of the initial term specified in respect of that account.

(3) In this Act—

(a) a reference to a Part, Chapter, section or Schedule is to a Part, Chapter or section of or Schedule to this Act, unless it is indicated that a reference to some other enactment is intended,

(b) a reference to a subsection, paragraph or subparagraph is to the subsection, paragraph or subparagraph of the provision in which the reference occurs, unless it is indicated that a reference to some other provision is intended,

(c) a reference to any other enactment shall, unless the context otherwise requires, be construed as a reference to that enactment as amended by or under any other enactment, including this Act, and

(d) a reference to the performance of functions includes, with respect to powers and duties, a reference to the exercise of powers and the carrying out of duties.