The parliamentary public petitions system allows members of the public raise issues of general public interest or concern or issues of public policy with the Houses of the Oireachtas (parliament). The subject of a petition must relate to a matter on which the Houses of the Oireachtas have the power to act.
Only one signature is needed to submit a petition. A decision on a petition is made by the Joint Committee on Public Petitions.
If you are submitting a petition it must relate to a matter on which the Houses of the Oireachtas have the power to act and the petition must be in the proper form. It must not:
- Relate to a case where court proceedings have been initiated and the case is being or will be heard before a jury
- Contain the name or names of individuals
- Contain language which is offensive or defamatory
- Be frivolous, vexatious or otherwise constitute an abuse of the petitions system
- Be the same as or substantially similar to a petition brought by you, or on behalf of you, during the current lifetime of the Dáil and which was closed by agreement of the Joint Committee
You should be able to demonstrate that you have already taken steps to resolve the issue, for example, through raising it with the Ombudsman or directly with the relevant government department.
The Joint Committee will not consider a complaint which has been the subject of a decision by an Ombudsman or some regulatory or redress body.
Joint Committee on Public Petitions
You submit your petition to the Joint Committee on Public Petitions which is a parliamentary committee consisting of TDs and Senators. The Joint Committee must first decide whether your petition is compliant with Dáil and Seanad standing orders (pdf). If it is considered to be compliant, it will then consider your petition.
When considering your petition the Joint Committee may invite you to appear before it. It may also seek oral or written evidence from the relevant government department, as well as other appropriate bodies or stakeholders. It may also:
- Refer your petition to some other parliamentary committee for further consideration and a report
- Refer your petition to an ombudsman or some regulatory or redress body
Following its considerations, the Joint Committee makes a decision on what further action it will take. This action can include reporting to the Dáil with recommendations, including a request that the report be debated by the Dáil.
If the Joint Committee decides that no further action is required your petition will be closed. You will be notified of the Joint Committee’s considerations and its final decision.
There is no charge for submitting a petition.
How to apply
- By e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- By post to the Clerk to the Joint Committee on Public Petitions at the address below
Further information and advice on the petitions process can be obtained from the Clerk to the Joint Committee on Public Petitions. A list of petitions already submitted is available on the Houses of the Oireachtas website.
Where to apply