We the Citizens

08 Jul 11

We the Citizens concluded its assembly in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham on Sunday June 26th after two months of regional meetings in Athlone, Kilkenny, Cork, Galway, Tallaght, Blancherstown and Letterkenny.  RTÉ’s Prime Time did an audience special on We the Citizens last Monday. You can catch the episode here.

 
The first session on Saturday morning was devoted to three main themes: the role of the TD; whether a new electoral system might change that; and whether the number of TDs should be reduced. The results of the 31 recommendations, voted on by members of the citizens’ assembly, can be found here. The second session focused on the Seanad. The final session on Sunday centred on tax and spends choices. Recommendations will be posted here as soon as they are collated.

The academic team of Eoin O’Malley, Jane Suiter and I were ably led by David Farrell. Together, we conceived and developed this project over the past year. The Executive Director, Caroline Erskine, was expertly assisted by Órla De Burca and Úna Faulkner in implementing the project. Luke Mcmanus did fantastic work recording the meetings.
The virtuoso, Fiach Mac Conghail, chaired all the sessions and was guided by the Board. The project would not have happened if it were not for the fantastic efforts of a large number of facilitators and note takers who ensured that the meetings were conducted in a deliberative fashion. Ken Carty, Clodagh Harris, Theresa Reidy, Nat O’Connor and Fergal O’Brien were very generous with their time giving expert testimony. Most of all thanks is due to the members of the public that attended and believed in the possibility of an idea that greater participation by people in-between elections is positive for Irish politics.

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