Despite its health implications, the fibre intake of Irish children is unknown. The North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey indicated that 77% of Irish adults do not consume adequate fibre and surveys of children and adolescents in Canada and Sweden have confirmed suboptimal fibre intake in these groups. This study undertook to assess fibre intake and the incidence of constipation in Irish children aged 5-8 years. Children admitted to hospital with an acute self-limiting medical illness were included in the study. Three day food diaries were recorded on discharge from hospital. The presence of constipation was ascertained Seventy six per cent of 135 children s diets did not contain adequate fibre. The incidence of constipation was 13.6% in those with inadequate fibre intake as opposed to 6% in those with adequate fibre intake. Poor dietary fibre needs to be addressed in the context of health promotion and disease prevention involving parents, health care professionals and government public policy.