The Citizens’ Assembly (Irish: An Tionól Saoránach) is a citizens’ assembly established in Ireland in 2016 to consider several political questions: abortion, fixed term parliaments, referendums, population ageing, and climate change. It will produce reports to be considered by the Oireachtas (parliament).
On 26 July 2016, Mary Laffoy, a judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland, was chosen by the government as chairperson of the assembly.
The 99 other members are “citizens entitled to vote at a referendum, randomly selected so as to be broadly representative of Irish society”. As with the 66 citizen members of the Constitutional Convention, these 99 plus 99 substitutes were selected by an opinion polling company; Red C won the tender and began selection at the start of September. The Electoral (Amendment) Act 2016 was passed to enable the electoral register to be used in this process. Media were asked not to photograph the citizen members before the inaugural Assembly meeting. By the 27 November 2016 meeting, 11 of the 99 had been replaced by substitutes.
THE Irish Citizen’s Assembly has voted overwhelmingly in favour of abortion in a landslide vote.
The citizens involved in the vote had attended five two-day meetings since November 2016 and had heard from a series of legal and medical professionals.