Sunday 8 December 2019

Our long war with France is now over

21/09/2014
Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin at the All Ireland Football final between Kerry & Donegal at Croke Park, Dublin.
Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
21/09/2014 Minister for Public Expenditure Brendan Howlin at the All Ireland Football final between Kerry & Donegal at Croke Park, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Dearbhail McDonald

Dearbhail McDonald

REST assured, we are no longer at war with Denmark or France, and the first Wednesday of every month is not for "fasting and humiliation on account of the bubonic plague".

The Government is planning to repeal up to 4,500 antiquated laws, regulations and orders - the largest repealing measure in the history of the State.

Government regulations and orders that face removal from the statute books include a proclamation banning officers and soldiers from engaging in duels.

Legal instruments that face being removed include a proclamation of 1679 promising a reward for the apprehension of "any Popish Dignitary or Jesuit".

Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform Brendan Howlin has launched a consultation on some of the 4,500 instruments from the pre-1820 period that he intends to revoke.

Obsolete

The obsolete orders listed for removal include declarations of war against Denmark in 1666 and against France in 1744; a proclamation of 1817 reserving oatmeal and potatoes for the "lower orders of people" and a proclamation of 1661, prohibiting drunkenness, swearing and profaning on the Lords' Day.

An Order of 1815 providing that a prayer of thanksgiving be offered for the victory at the Battle of Waterloo, and a Proclamation of 1665 appointing the first Wednesday of every month as a day of fasting and humiliation on account of the bubonic plague in London also face the axe.

Mr Howlin intends to retain 38 instruments from the period, primarily licences authorising the use of names and arms which fall under the responsibility of the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht.

Two years ago, the Statute Law Revision Programme transferred from the Office of the Attorney General to Mr Howlin's department. Mr Howlin said the removal of obsolete legislation leads to a more accessible statute book.

Irish Independent

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