Citizens’ assembly on Eighth Amendment to be live streamed

Meetings will commence in October to discuss scope for referendum on abortion

The upcoming citizens’ assembly which will consider a referendum on the Eighth Amendment among other issues is to be live streamed on a purpose-built website, according to a Government tender.

An entry posted on the State’s Etenders site requests submissions from companies willing to provide “live streaming/broadcasting” of the Citizens’ Assembly which will be convened from October.

The assembly will grapple with topics including the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution which guarantees the equal right to life of the unborn and mother, fixed-term parliaments, how referendums are held and how best to deal with the country’s ageing population.

It will have 100 members including a chairperson and 99 citizens who will be selected by a polling firm as a representative sample of the country’s population based on their age, gender, social class and geographical location.


The assembly will hold up to ten weekend gatherings over the space of a year, and members will typically meet in an as yet unspecified hotel located within 20km of Dublin on a Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon.

Those involved will compile a report on the issue of the Eighth Amendment and will provide recommendations on the matter to the Government, and will also “complete considerations of the remaining [MATTERS]within one year from the date of the first assembly meeting”.

According to the tender document, all plenary sessions of the assembly will be live streamed along with podium speeches and contributions from the floor. Informal aspects of the event need not be filmed, it says.

Live broadcasts of the meetings will be carried on, and edited videos will later be uploaded to a dedicated YouTube account.

The stream will also be enabled for embedding on other websites interested in showing meetings, “thereby extending the range of websites carrying the live proceedings”.

Interested parties must be able to provide three cameras at the chosen venue, which may be subject to change, along with a production trolley.

The document states that these requirements may be amended in the run-up to the actual event, and competing bids which meet the minimum standards set out “will be evaluated on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender”.

The closing date for submissions is midday on September 2nd.

A spokesman for the Department of the Taoiseach confirmed that members of the assembly will receive travel expenses but will not be given any payment or stipend for attending.