What is an notary public in Ireland?

Notaries public in Ireland are appointed by the Chief Justice. Potential Irish notaries are generally solicitors with at least five years post-qualification experience. Irish notaries must provide a certificate form the Faculty of Notaries Public in Ireland (the regulatory body Irish notaries) confirming that the they have a proficiency in Irish notarial law and is competent to carry out the duties of an Irish notary public.

Applications for appointment as a notary public in Ireland are made by petition to the Chief Justice of the High Court in open court. The Irish notarial candidate must provide an affidavit verifying his/her suitability and a certificate of fitness signed by six members of the legal profession and six leaders of the local business community. The potential Irish notary public should also show that his/her appointment would be for the general convenience and accommodation of people in his/her local area. Irish notaries are only allowed to practice in three counties in Ireland and these must be stipulated on their qualification.

If the application is successful each Irish notary public is “constituted and appointed” during the pleasure of the Chief Justice  and it is common for Irish notaries to state on their stamps that their appointment is for life which differentiates them from notaries in other jurisdictions such the USA where notaries are appointed for a fixed or expiring term.

Functions and powers of notaries in Ireland

  1. To draw up, attest, certify (using the notary’s official seal) deeds, wills, powers of attorney and all other legal documents relating to real and personal property;
  2. Authenticate public and private documents:
  3. Attest signatures and seals applied to documents by execution, certification or attestation in order to satisfy evidential or statutory requirements of courts, governments (or their departments), institutions and regulatory authorities outside the Republic of Ireland;
  4. Take affidavits and depositions for use in courts outside the Republic of Ireland;
  5. Take solemn declarations pursuant to the relevant legislation;
  6. Note and protest bills of exchange and promissory notes from outside the Republic of Ireland;
  7. Draw and take declarations by way of ships protests and extended protests;
  8. Create and authenticate documents relating to the adoption of foreign infants by Irish citizens;
  9. Issue certificates authenticating the acts, deeds, qualifications and identities of persons.