asserts the importance of developing a distinct Irish consumer law and argues
that the matter of consumer protection cannot simply be ceded to Europe. In
developing this argument, the article first identifies the hybrid common law
and European origins of Irish consumer law.
It then traces the development of consumer law in this jurisdiction and focuses
on the re-activation of the national consumer protection agenda, both in
Ireland and across the European Union, in the last decade. The article also argues that a necessary
pre-requisite in setting a domestic agenda is a comprehensive understanding of
the nature and distinguishing features of the domestic consumer. Hence, the
article undertakes a critical analysis of available data indicating the ways in
which Irish consumers understand and use consumer law, drawing on annual
surveys commissioned by the National Consumer Agency; an extensive EU wide
Eurobarometer study on Consumer Empowerment and a focussed Irish study
conducted in Winter 2012.