Every citizen aged 18 years or upwards whose name is on the Register of Dáil electors can be called for jury service:
» Those involved in any way with the administration of justice. This includes judges, former judges, the President, the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecutions, members of the Gardai and defence forces, prison officers, practising barristers, solicitors, court officers such as registrars and personnel in government departments involved in matters of justice or the courts.
» Those who are suffering from or have suffered from mental illness or mental disability and on account of that condition are resident in hospital or other similar institution or who regularly attend for treatment by a medical practitioner.
» Those who have an insufficient capacity to read, or an enduring impairment such that it is not practicable for them to perform the duties of a juror.
The following persons are disqualified from jury service:
» Those who have been convicted of a serious offence in Ireland.
» Those who have ever been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of five years or more.
» Those who, within the last ten years, have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment of at least three months and have served any part of that sentence.
» People living in Ireland who are not Irish citizens.
Those who are excused as of right.
The following persons may be excused as of right from jury service:
Persons aged 65 and upwards,
Members of either House of the Oireachtas (the Irish Parliament),
members of the Council of State,
the Comptroller and Auditor General,
the Clerks of Dáil Éireann and Seanad Éireann,
a person in Holy Orders,
a minister of any religious denomination or community,
members of monasteries and convents,
ships' masters and
those who provide an important community service including practising doctors, nurses, midwives, dentists, vets and chemists.
» The following persons if it is certified that their functions cannot be performed by another person or postponed;
members of staff of either House of the Oireachtas,
Heads of Government Departments,
other civil servants,
chief executive officers and employees of local authorities,
health boards and harbour authorities,
school teachers and university lecturers.
» Those who have served, or attended to serve on a jury within the last three years or who have been excused by a judge at the conclusion of a previous period of service for a period that has not ended.
Other occasions when you may be excused.
Other occasions when you may be excused include:
» The County Registrar or the trial judge may excuse you if he/ she is satisfied that there is 'good reason' for doing so.
» At the end of a case of 'an exceptionally exacting nature', the trial judge may excuse the jury from jury service for as long as the judge considers fit.
The rules about qualification and liability for jury service in Ireland are set down in Part II of Juries Act 1976 (amended by Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008).
Failure to attend and other offences.
The following offences are punishable by fines:
» Failing to attend for jury service without reasonable excuse, or not being available when called upon to serve as a juror or being unfit for service by reason of drink and drugs.
» Making or causing to be made on your behalf false representations.
» Serving on a jury knowing you are ineligible or disqualified.
» Giving false or misleading answers to the presiding judge regarding your qualification for jury service.
» Making or causing to be made on behalf of a person summoned as a juror any false representation to enable him or her to evade jury service.
The full text of these offences are set down in Part V of the Juries Act, 1976 as amended by Part 6 Civil Law (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 2008.