Referendums on family and care

What is a referendum?

A constitutional referendum allows Irish citizens to decide whether or not to change the wording of the Irish Constitution. The Irish Constitution (Bunreacht na hÉireann) is the legal document that sets out how Ireland should be governed.

On Friday, 8 March 2024, Irish citizens were asked to decide if changes should be made to Article 41 of the Irish Constitution - see 'Referendum results' below.

The proposed changes were also called the Family Amendment and the Care Amendment – for more information see ‘What was I asked to decide on?’ below.

To vote in a referendum, you must be:

  • An Irish citizen
  • Aged 18 years or over
  • Ordinarily resident in Ireland
  • On the Register of Electors

What was I asked to decide on?

On 8 March 2024, two referendums were held to decide if changes should be made to the Irish Constitution. The proposed changes were called:

  • The Family Amendment, and
  • The Care Amendment

The Family Amendment

The Family Amendment is the 39th Amendment and it concerns the concept of family in the Constitution.

It was on a white coloured ballot paper.

It deals with Article 41.1.1°and Article 41.3.1° of the Constitution.

Read more about the proposed Family Amendment.

The Care Amendment

The Care Amendment is the 40th Amendment and it proposed to delete an existing part of the Constitution and insert new text about care provided by family members.

It was on a green coloured ballot paper.

In this amendment there was one vote for two proposed changes. The proposal involved deleting Article 41.2.1° and Article 41.2.2° and inserting a new Article.

Find out more about the proposed Care Amendment.

Where can I get more information?

The Electoral Commission is Ireland’s independent electoral commission. The Commission must provide impartial and unbiased information about these referendum proposals.

The Commission does not outline the arguments for and against referendum proposals. It may clarify and provide information about areas it considers to be of significant public concern.

You can find information about the referendums on family and care on the Commissions website.

The Electoral Commission also has easy to read booklets about the referendums on family and care. You can also get an audio booklet about the referendum on family and care.

You can get information about the referendums on family and care in Irish Sign Language (ISL).

Referendum results

It is the duty of the Referendum Returning Officer to conduct referendums, and to establish and declare the result of referendums.

You can find the referendum results for the Family Amendment and the Care Amendment on the website of the referendum returning officer.

Page edited: 11 March 2024