(1) (a) The returning officer shall rule on the validity of each nomination paper within one hour after its delivery to him and may rule that it is invalid if, but only if, he considers that the paper is not properly made out or signed.
(b) Without prejudice to paragraph (a), the returning officer may also rule that the nomination paper of a candidate referred to in paragraph (a) of section 46(5) is invalid if he considers that the provisions of subsections (5)(a) and (6) of that section have not been complied with.
(c) The returning officer shall not rule that a nomination paper is invalid because an assentor has assented to the nomination of more than one candidate at the same Dáil election.
(2) The candidate nominated by each nomination paper and his proposer, if any, and one other person designated by the candidate or his proposer, as the case may be, and no other person, except with the permission of the returning officer, shall be entitled to attend while the said nomination paper is being ruled upon by the returning officer.
(3) The returning officer shall object to the name of a candidate in a nomination paper if such name -
(a) is not a name by which the candidate is commonly known,
(b) is misleading and likely to cause confusion,
(c) is unduly long, or
(d) contains a political reference,
and where the returning officer so objects, he shall allow the candidate or his proposer, as may be appropriate, to amend the name and, if it is not so amended to the returning officer's satisfaction, the returning officer may amend it, as he thinks fit, after consultation with the candidate or his proposer, if either is present, or may rule that the nomination paper is invalid as not being properly made out.
(4) The returning officer shall object to the description of a candidate in a nomination paper which is, in the opinion of the returning officer, incorrect, insufficient to identify the candidate or unnecessarily long or which contains a political reference other than, where appropriate, a reference to a public or elected office held, or formerly held, by the candidate or an entry made pursuant to subsection (4) or (8) of section 46. Where the returning officer so objects, he shall allow the candidate or his proposer, as may be appropriate, to amend the description and, if it is not so amended to the returning officer's satisfaction, the returning officer may amend or delete it, as he thinks fit, after consultation with the candidate or his proposer, if either is present, or may rule that the nomination paper is invalid as not being properly made out.
(5) When the returning officer has ruled on the validity of a nomination paper, he shall put a note of his decision on the nomination paper and shall sign the note. If he rules that the paper is invalid, he shall include a statement of his reasons. His decision under this section shall be final, subject only to reversal on a petition questioning the election.
(6) As soon as practicable after ruling on the validity of a nomination paper, the returning officer shall give, by post or otherwise, notice in writing of his ruling to the candidate.
(7) Every person in respect of whom a nomination paper has, under this section, been determined to be valid and whose candidature is not withdrawn in accordance with section 54 or is not deemed under section 47(2) or 62(1) to have been withdrawn shall stand validly nominated as a candidate.