The legality of all Irish coats of arms issued in the past 60+ years is now in doubt. In what has been described as the new 'arms crisis', the National Library has stopped the Office of the Chief Herald from making any further awards due to concerns that it had no legal powers to do so.
The Genealogical Society of Ireland said it was a very embarrassing situation which had been allowed to develop over a long period of time.
The problem dates back to the achievement of independence in 1922. It was assumed that the Irish government could set up an Office of the Chief Herald to assume the British King's "royal prerogative" to issue coats of arms. However, the Genealogical Society of Ireland now has determined that the right to issue arms was not transferred.
The Chief Herald of Ireland has been charging about €3,000, or roughly $4,200 U.S., to obtain a coat of arms. Most Irish coats of arms were sold to Americans of Irish descent. Now it seems that they may not be worth the paper they are printed on.
Details may be found at http://www.independent.ie/national-news/heraldry-office-in-arms-crisis-1166855.html.