United Kingdom

‘King of Ireland’ law repealed



Laws stating the Queen is the king of Ireland and that anyone selling horses outside greater Dublin shall die are to be repealed, the Irish Government has announced.

The ancient orders and proclamations remain on the Irish statute books and are being targeted in an epic clear-out of bizarre and obsolete legislation pre-dating the country’s independence.

It is the largest repeal of outdated laws carried out in any country.

Among those to be revoked is a 1542 proclamation declaring that the English crown shall be “king of Ireland”.

An order from 1590 prohibiting the sale of horses out of the Pale “upon pain of death” is also for the chop. The Pale was an English-ruled area on the east, roughly akin to modern-day greater Dublin, but stretched further north.

Ulster King Shane O’Neill will no longer be declared a traitor once a 1561 proclamation to that effect is repealed and Catholic proprietors will no more face removal to the western province of Connacht, as ordered in 1654.

Reform Minister Brendan Howlin said the Statute Law Revision Bill 2015 will revoke 5,782 pre-independence Government regulations and orders in total.

“Statute law revision is the process by which spent or obsolete legislation is removed from the statute book,” he said.

“The removal leads to a more accessible statute book and will pave the way for further simplification and modernisation measures.”


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