Ireland revokes centuries worth of obsolete laws
What was English King Henry VIII thinking when he married Anne Boleyn? There was nothing wrong with his first wife Catherine of Aragon. She would have given him a son eventually, then poor old Anne wouldn’t have been beheaded!
There, I said it, and as of this week there is nothing anyone can do about it!
That is because the Irish government have been sifting through thousands of laws that have stood for centuries but become obsolete in the modern world.
One of those laws stated that it was illegal to criticise the second marriage of Henry VIII. Henry defied the Pope who said he couldn’t get divorced. He formed the Church of England and brought the Protestant religion to Britain.
Needless to say, there would have been some criticism at the time, so in 1533 Henry made it illegal.
Nine years later a proclamation stated that the holder of the crown in England would also be the King of Ireland.
But now, thanks to The Statute Law Revision Bill of 2015 Queen Elizabeth of England can no longer refer to herself as the Queen of Ireland.
There are nearly 6,000 now irrelevant laws that have been overturned. Some of the highlights include:
• A 1612 law that prohibits single women from keeping taverns.
• It was illegal to sell horses outside The Pale. This was punishable by death.
• All trade with France has been prohibited since 1693.
• Since 1817 only the ‘lower orders’ have been allowed to eat potatoes or porridge.
• A 1601 proclamation offered a reward for the capture or death of ‘arch traitor’ Earl of Tyrone Hugh O’Neill.
• A 1665 order stated that people should fast on the first Wednesday of every month.
• In 1618 the Irish were ordered to take their belongings and leave their land to make way for the planters during the Plantation of Ulster.
Minister of State for Public Expenditure and Reform Simon Harris said that the obsolete legislation: “serves no purposes whatsoever other than to cloud and confuse those trying to read the statute book.”
So now single women are free to open a tavern, sell French beer and wine and serve some delicious potato dishes – even on the first Wednesday of every month.
And we can all have a good old gossip about the second marriage of Henry VIII.