Referendum on Local Government (1999) (Twentieth Amendment of the Constitution (No. 2) Bill, 1999)

Polling at the referendum took place on Friday, 11th June, 1999 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. Elections to the European Parliament and to local authorities took place on the same day.

The subject matter of the referendum was described as follows in the official polling card sent to each elector:

‘THE TWENTIETH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION (No. 2) BILL, 1999, proposes to insert the following Article after Article 28 of the Constitution:


1. The State recognises the role of local government in providing a forum for the democratic representation of local communities, in exercising and performing at local level powers and functions conferred by law and in promoting by its initiatives the interests of such communities.2. There shall be such directly elected local authorities as may be determined by law and their powers and functions shall, subject to the provisions of this Constitution, be so determined and shall be exercised and performed in accordance with law.

3. Elections for members of such local authorities shall be held in accordance with law not later than the end of the fifth year after the year in which they were last held.

4. Every citizen who has the right to vote at an election for members of Dáil éireann and such other persons as may be determined by law shall have the right to vote at an election for members of such of the local authorities referred to in section 2 of this Article as shall be determined by law.

5. Casual vacancies in the membership of local authorities referred to in section 2 of this Article shall be filled in accordance with law”.’

The total number of votes recorded in favour of the proposal was 1,024,850 and the total number of votes recorded against the proposal was 291,965. As the proposal was duly approved by the people, the Bill was signed by the President on 23rd June, 1999 and promulgated as a law.

Click here to download the booklet, entitled “Referendum Results 1937 – 2015” in PDF format. This includes all final referendum results.

Result Summary

Electorate: 2,791,415
Total Poll: 1,425,881
Percentage Poll: 51.08%
Votes in favour of the proposal: 1,024,850
Votes against the proposal: 291,965
Invalid Ballot Papers: 109,066