The parliamentary public petitions system allows members of the public to raise issues of general public interest with the Houses of the Oireachtas (parliament).
Decisions about petitions are made by the Joint Committee on Public Petitions, which is a parliamentary committee consisting of TDs and Senators.
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 will be heard before a jury
- Contain any names of individuals
- Contain offensive language
- Be frivolous
- Be the same as a petition brought by you, or on your behalf, during the current lifetime of the Dáil
- Require the committee to consider a complaint that has already had a decision made about it by an Ombudsman or some redress body.
You will be asked to show that you have already tried to resolve the issue raised in your petition, for example, by raising it with the Ombudsman, public bodies, or directly with the relevant Government Department.
Your petition should also include the name and address of anyone who has agreed to support the petition, though only one signature is necessary to submit a petition.
- By e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
- By post to the Clerk to the Joint Committee on Public Petitions at the address below
There is no charge for submitting a petition.
You submit your petition to the Joint Committee on Public Petitions. The Joint Committee must first decide whether your petition is compliant with Dáil and Seanad standing orders (pdf). If it decides that it is, 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 relevant bodies. It may also:
- Refer your petition to some other parliamentary committee for further consideration
- 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, and requesting 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 final decision.
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.