Citizens’ Assembly on Eighth Amendment to meet next month

The constitutional ban on abortion will be first item on the agenda for new grouping

Details of the latest Citizens’ Assembly which may decide to recommend a referendum on the Eighth Amendment have emerged. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

Details of the latest Citizens’ Assembly which may decide to recommend a referendum on the Eighth Amendment have emerged. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times

 

Details of the latest Citizens’ Assembly which may decide to recommend a referendum on the Eighth Amendment have emerged.

The new assembly is due to meet next month for the first time to debate a range of issues.

It will gather for up to ten weekends for discussions at locations within 20 kilometres of Dublin.

The first item listed on its agenda will be the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution which was passed in 1983 and is a constitutional ban on abortion. It will also examine the possibility of referenda on fixed term parliaments and so-called “super referendum days” where a significant amount of referenda take place on the same day.

The assembly will also be asked to consider non-referenda issues including climate change and Ireland’s ageing population.

It may also decide to recommend issues to the Government for consideration.

RED C Research and Marketing Ltd was appointed last month to select 99 members of the public and substitutes for the assembly.

Unlike the previous Constitutional Convention, which recommended a referendum on marriage equality which was eventually passed, there will be no politicians involved.

The chair of the assembly, and its 100th member is Ms Justice Mary Laffoy.

A notice has appeared on the website of the Department of the Taoiseach with requests for tenders.

They include accommodation and conference facilities, filming and live broadcasting, provision for Irish language and media liasion services.

The assembly will first make a report and recommendation on the matters within one year from the date of the first meeting.