6 Oct 2017, 10.30
The Seanad Public Consultation Committee is inviting written submissions from interested groups or individuals to consider the most appropriate way the State should treat the National Anthem.
Interested organisations and individuals are invited to send written submissions to the Committee on this issue. The Committee will review all submissions and may invite a number of the contributors to participate in a meeting with the Committee. The meeting will be held in the Seanad Chamber at Leinster House. When this public process is complete, the Committee intends to publish a report on the matter for consideration by the Seanad and the Government.
Seanad Leas-Chathaoirleach and Committee Chairman, Senator Paul Coghlan said: “The purpose of this consultation is to determine how the National Anthem should be treated; 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. In terms of free speech, placing restrictions around the use of the National Anthem may contravene well-established rights within this area. For instance, the usage of the National Anthem is particularly popular amongst sporting organisations. This has many positive implications and there is a consistent respect shown to National Anthems within this sphere on a regular basis. Were conditions as to when, where, and how the National Anthem could be used put forward, this area would need to be given particular consideration.”
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 invite submissions from interested parties and citizens, and especially students, to consider 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.”
The closing date for receipt of submissions is 4 pm on Thursday, 2nd November, 2017.
You can read more about how to make a submission to the Seanad Public Consultation Committee here.