Constitutional Convention

Second Republic made a detailed and credible proposal for a legally empowered citizens’ assembly for political reform (PDF download) and lobbied members of the Oireachtas in 2011 and 2012.

The Constitutional Convention, which was set up by the Oireachtas in June 2012 closely mirrored our proposal. Nevertheless, of particular concern to us, was the narrow agenda set for it and that recommendations of the Constitutional Convention were not binding on the Oireachtas to put to referendum.

In the end, the Convention made sweeping recommendations for reform, even within its narrow agenda. However, virtually all of these recommendations were rejected or ignored by the Government.

We continue to campaign for each recommendation of the Convention to be put to the people in a referendum through publishing newspaper articles and regular lobbying of the Government, TDs and senators.

Sign the petitionCall for a referendum on these recommendations
Articles we’ve written
TV programmes we’ve been on
Submissions we’ve made
 Recommendations of the Constitutional Convention
  • Reduce minimum age for candidates from 35 to 21
  • Allow candidates to be nominated by the public
  • Add provision for citizen initiated referendums
  • Allow citizens abroad to vote in Presidential elections
  • Reduce voting age to 16 years
  • Set minimum size of all Dáil constituencies to five
  • Establish an independent Electoral Commission
  • Randomise order of candidates on ballot paper
  • Extend polling hours and access to postal voting
  • Improve accuracy of electoral register
  • Elect the Ceann Comhairle by sectret ballot and give him/her “more status” in the Constitution
  • TDs to set the Dáil agenda not the Taoiseach
  • Oireachtas committees to be given constitutional status, more resources, and chairs elected by secret ballot (with powers to call the Taoiseach)
  • “Committee week” once per month with only Leader’s Questions taken in the Dáíl
  • Allow all TDs to propose budgeting laws, not just cabinet members
  • Loosening of the party whip in the Dáil and committees
  • Settings up of a Dáil reform committee, including external members and former TDs, to bring forward proposals for reform
  • Introduction of family-friendly hours
  • Separate the Government and the Dáil
  • Allow the Taoiseach to nominated ministers from outside of the Oireacthas
  • Provide for same-sex marriage
  • Amend Article 41.2 to recognise all carers, regardless of gender or relationship
  • Use gender-neutral language thoughout the Constitution
  • Replace the ban on blasphemy with with ban on incitement to religious hatred
  • Require the State to progressively improve economic, social and cultural rights within its financial means

We’ve also prepared a spreadsheet showing progress on implementing these recommendations.

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