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n order to be nominated for membership of the Dáil, you may either nominate yourself or a Dáil elector may nominate you.

Before nomination you should check that you are eligible for membership of the Dáil. To be eligible for membership of the Dáil: 

  • You must be a citizen of Ireland 
  • You must be over 21 years of age and 
  • You must not be disqualified from election to the Dáil


You must complete a nomination paper and present it to the returning officer of the constituency in which you are standing. It is possible to be nominated as a candidate in more than one constituency and you don't necessarily have to be living in a constituency to be nominated. If you wish, you may state your party affiliation on your nomination paper. You may also submit a photograph and/or a political party emblem to appear on the ballot paper. 

The returning officer must decide on the validity of your nomination paper within one hour after it is presented to them. They will object to your name (or description) if:

  • It is not the name by which you are commonly known 
  • It is misleading or likely to cause confusion 
  • It is unnecessarily long or 
  • It contains a political reference 

You must change the particulars on the nomination paper if the returning officer raises an objection. The returning officer must hold that your nomination paper is valid if it is properly filled out and signed. 

As a candidate at a Dáil election, you are entitled to send one election letter free of postage charge to every elector in the constituency. If you are a member of a political party with another candidate in the constituency, you will only be allowed one election letter free of postage charge between you.

You must submit your nomination paper to the returning officer for your constituency by 12 noon on the 7th day after the issue of the writ by the Dáil to the returning officer. 

To be nominated for membership of the Dáil, candidates must complete one of the following options:

  • A Certificate of Party Affiliation
  • Statutory declarations by 30 assentors in the relevant Dáil constituency
  • The candidate, or someone on his or her behalf, must lodge a deposit of €500 with the returning officer

If you wish to supply a photograph or a party emblem, it must meet certain requirements regarding shape and size. If you do not supply a photograph and/or emblem, the space or spaces provided on the ballot paper will be left blank.

To withdraw your nomination, you must inform the returning officer in writing at any time up to 12 noon on the day after the latest date for receiving nominations.

How to apply

You must apply to the returning officer for your constituency who is either the county sheriff or the county registrar. Contact information for the returning officer for your constituency is available from the franchise section of your local authority.

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