Constitutional body to convene in December
The first meeting of the constitutional convention will take place on Saturday, December 1st, in Dublin Castle, it has been confirmed.
Chairman of the convention Tom Arnold yesterday paid what was described as a courtesy visit to Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore. His appointment as chair of the convention was announced last month.
The convention will be made up of 100 members, including the chairman. The number includes 66 members of the public, chosen randomly from the electoral register, and 33 elected representatives – drawn from the Houses of the Oireachtas and a parliamentarian from each of the parties in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The convention has been asked to consider a range of matters covering both institutional and social issues.
Initially it will examine reducing the presidential term of office to five years and aligning it with the local and European elections, and reducing the voting age to 17. The Government expects the convention to report on these two matters within two months of the first public hearing.
Mr Arnold has been chief executive of Concern Worldwide since October 2001. He has indicated he will step down from his position with the charity during 2013 as the work of the convention grows.
He is chairman of the Irish Times Trust and a director of the Irish Times Ltd.