Approval of Bodies in relation to the referendum on the regulation of divorce Friday, 24th May 2019

Thirty-eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Dissolution of Marriage) Bill 2016

The referendum will be held on Friday, 24th May 2019. A body under section 7 of the Referendum Act 1998 may apply to the Referendum Commission to be an approved body for the purpose of the referendum. Approved bodies may appoint agents to be present at the issuing of ballot papers to postal voters, the opening of postal voters' ballot papers, and at the counting of votes. An approved body may also appoint one personation agent to attend at each polling station.

In order to become an approved body, an applicant must:

a) be a political party that is for the time being registered in the Register of Political Parties,


b) fulfil the following conditions (i) to (iii).

(i) be a body (body corporate or unincorporated body) which, or a branch of which, is established in the State,

(ii) be governed by a constitution, a memorandum of association or other such document or other written rules,

(iii) have a membership of not less than 300, and

In the case of both a) and b) above an authorised officer must be nominated for the purposes of the Act and this person's name and address must be included in the form of application.

The Commission may refuse the application if, in its opinion, the applicant does not have a bona fide interest in the proposal the subject of the referendum or if the name of the applicant is identical with the name of any party registered in the Register of Political Parties, or, in the opinion of the Commission, the applicant has a name which so closely resembles such a name as to be calculated to mislead, confuse or deceive, or if certain other statutory requirements are not met.  

Please note in particular that the Commission may require an applicant which is required to have a membership of not less than 300 to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Commission that it has such a membership.

More detailed information on the requirements, and the application form, are available from the Referendum Commission or from the Commission's website

Forms must be printed, signed and forwarded to:

Referendum Commission, 18 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin 2
Tel (01) 639 5695   

The deadline to apply to attend the distribution of ballot papers was April 25th 2019 and has now passed.

The closing date for receipt of applications to attend polling stations and count centres is 5pm on Wednesday, 15th May 2019.

Application form
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