Constitution's 'women in the home' clause comes in for some youthful scrutiny
Enda Kenny addressing the Constitutional Convention. photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill
The Constitutional Convention reconvenes for its second outing today.
The meeting will consider a proposal to amend the clause in the Constitution which emphasises the central role of women in the home.
If the ConCon people vote to leave it as it is, this column will eat its apron, with extra starch.
Meanwhile, Labour TD Aodhán Ó Riordáin has also been doing the ConCon.
He recently held a “Convention in the Classroom” exercise involving transition-year students from 12 secondary schools across his Dublin North Central Constituency.
He has just completed a series of meetings – gathering the views of over 500 young people from across the social spectrum who considered the topics that are before the 100 participants in the ConCon.
At their first meeting last month, the citizens and politicians voted in favour of reducing the voting age to 16 and opposed reducing the presidential term.
Interestingly, Aodhán’s youthful cohort was well disposed towards reducing the presidential term but there was a big majority against changing the voting age from the existing 18 threshold.
All schools voted in favour of same-sex marriage and, according to Ó Riordáin, “they found the whole idea of a clause in the Constitution about a woman’s place in the home to be absolutely hilarious”. The students weren’t keen on granting voting rights to Irish people living abroad, while they didn’t appear particularly exercised on the subject of Dáil reform.
As for the removal of the clause on blasphemy, he says there was “a degree of confusion”. A cross-party group of politicians taking part in the convention will meet representatives from the schools in Leinster House on Thursday, when they present their findings to the ConCon chairman, Tom Arnold.