Anglophone countries address the question of workplace‐level union bargaining rights via the mechanism of statutory recognition. Existing literature has evaluated such regimes as underpinned by several weaknesses. In contrast, Ireland presents an unusual case whereby the question of bargaining rights is resolved via collective dispute resolution procedures combining voluntary and statutory provisions. However, employer challenges and civil court rulings resulted in the weakening of these procedures from a trade union perspective. We assess the latest attempts to reform the Irish provisions via the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2015, evaluating the implications for unions and their capacity to represent members' on pay and working conditions in comparison to Anglophone statutory recognition regimes.