THIRD INTERIM REPORT
1. The Joint Committee has made further progress in the matters referred to it and has agreed to the following third interim Report.
2. In paragraph 29 of its second interim Report the Joint Committee recommended that a candidate at a Dáil Election should be entitled to enter the name of the political affiliation which he represents in the nomination paper and that a candidate may use the expression “Independent” without further formality. The Committee indicated that it was reviewing the question and would submit an early recommendation on its implementation.
3. The Joint Committee having reviewed the question has agreed to the recommendations contained in paragraph 4 herein.
4. The Joint Committee recommends that:
(i) the Clerk of Dáil Éireann shall establish and maintain a register, to be known as the Register of Political Parties, in which he shall record the name of each political party which applies to him for registration, and which, in his opinion, is a genuine political party;
(ii) the Register shall contain, in respect of each political party registered therein, the following particulars:—
(a) the name of the party,
(b) the address of the party’s headquarters office, and
(c) the name of the officer or officers of the party authorised to sign certificates authenticating the candidature of candidates of that party at elections to Dáil Éireann;
(iii) a political party shall not be registered in the Register if its name or title or any abbreviation of such name or title is identical with the name or title or any abbreviation thereof of any party already registered in the Register or in the opinion of the Clerk of Dáil Éireann so nearly resembles such name or title or abbreviation as to be calculated to mislead, confuse or deceive. For the purposes of this subparagraph of this recommendation, the Committee considers that each party at present represented in Dáil Éireann should be deemed to be registered in the Register, as soon as the Register is set up, under the title by which it is at present commonly known, provided that, within one month of the establishment of the Register, the party shall have furnished to the Clerk of Dáil Éireann, the particulars set out under paragraph 4 (ii) of this Report;
(iv) each political party registered in the Register shall be required to keep the Clerk of Dáil Éireann informed, from time to time, of the name of the officer or officers referred to in subparagraph (ii) (c) above;
(v) the Clerk of Dáil Éireann shall enquire from each party registered in the Register, by letter addressed to the officers referred to in subparagraph (ii) (c) above, at least once in every calendar year, whether the party desires to remain registered in the Register, and, unless, within twenty-one days from the date of issue of such letter, the Clerk receives an affirmative reply, he shall delete from the Register all details relating to the party concerned;
(vi) any doubt, dispute or question which may arise in connection with the Register shall be decided by an appeal board. This appeal board should consist of a Judge of the High Court (to be nominated by the President of the High Court), who shall be Chairman, the Ceann Comhairle (Chairman of Dáil Éireann) and the Cathaoirleach of Seanad Éireann. The Clerk of Dáil Éireann, in relation to any matter decided by the appeal board, shall comply with the decision of the appeal board;
(vii) on the third day after either a dissolution of Dáil Éireann or the date of the issue by the Clerk of Dáil Éireann of a writ for the holding of a bye-election to fill a vacancy occurring in the membership of Dáil Éireann, the Clerk of Dáil Éireann shall furnish to the returning officer for each constituency concerned, a copy of the Register of Political Parties as it stands at the date of issue;
(viii) a candidate at a Dáil election may include in his nomination paper the name of the registered political party of which he is a candidate provided that he produces to the returning officer a certificate authenticated by the officer or officers of the party whose names appear in the Register. The returning officer shall, provided he is satisfied that it is appropriate to do so in relation to that candidate, cause the name of the party, as shown in the nomination paper, to be entered on all the ballot papers for the relevant election;
(ix) where a candidate at an election to Dáil Éireann is not the candidate of a party registered in the Register of Political Parties he shall be entitled, in not more than five words, to state the policy or interest for which he stands but he shall not be entitled to use either the name or title of any political party registered in the Register or any abbreviation of such name or title which so nearly resembles the name or title of such party registered in the Register as to mislead, confuse or deceive. Neither shall such candidate be allowed to use the name of a party registered in the Register either alone or in combination with other words. Any doubt as to whether the description entered in his nomination paper by any candidate complies with the provisions of this subparagraph shall be decided by the returning officer.
(Signed) A. A. HEALY,
17th April, 1961.