The Irish Citizens' Assembly

A standing body tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations on issues submitted to it by Parliament.

Mission and Purpose

The Irish Citizens' Assembly is a standing body tasked with reviewing and providing recommendations on issues submitted to it by Parliament. 

Origins and Development

The Irish Parliament introduced and passed the Resolution Approving Establishment of the Citizens’ Assembly in July 2016 [4] and the body convened for the first time in October of the same year.[2]

Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding

The Irish Citizens Assembly was established through Parliamentary (Dáil Éireann) Resolution as an independent body with a Government-appointed Chairperson. The rules and procedures of the Assembly written and agreed up by all 99 members and Chairperson during the inaugural meeting.[6]

The Assembly is funded through a public tendering process. According to the Assembly’s website, various tasks required for the Assembly’s establishment and continued operation were posted to the ‘eTenders’ website. The following contracts were awarded:

  1. “RED C Research and Marketing Ltd were appointed on 22 August 2016 to provide a representative sample of 99 members of the public and substitutes for the Citizen's Assembly.
  2. The Grand Hotel, Malahide, was selected as the venue for the meetings of the Assembly.
  3. Richard Jolly TV Ltd/Switch New Media was selected to provide the filming/live broadcasting and streaming of the Assembly’s meetings.
  4. Q4PR was selected to provide media liaison services for the Assembly.
  5. Roomaxx Ltd was selected to provide facilitation and note-taking services for the Assembly.
  6. Translation & Tour Guiding Services was selected to provide translation services for the Assembly.” [5]

Other expenses such as salaries, office administration, and the reimbursement of costs incurred while attending meetings are paid by the Government.[5]

Specializations, Methods and Tools

The number and frequency of the Assembly's meetings on each topic is decided by the Chair and is subject to change seemingly at any time during the process although extensions are subject to approval by the Legislature. Decisions regarding the scheduling, number, and frequency of meetings and meeting events is dependent on several factors such as the availability of guests, the number of public submissions, and the time needed by Members to adequately deliberate and decide on the issue(s).[1] For example, alterations to the schedule were made in March 2017 because “the original schedule had only a four week break from the end of the [first topic] to the weekend on [the second] and then only 3 weeks between that and the [next], the Chair felt that such a relentless pace would be unfair on the members, unmanageable for the Secretariat and most importantly would not allow sufficient time to prepare for the other topics.”[1]

Major Projects and Events

1st Sitting on the Eighth Amendment

2nd Sitting on Rsponding to an Ageing Population

Analysis and Lessons Learned

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See Also

1st Sitting on the Eighth Amendment

2nd Sitting on Rsponding to an Ageing Population


[1] Lyn Carson, "Integrating Citizen Deliberation into National Decisions: Ireland's Prime Minister's Office,"The newDemocracy Foundation,

[2] The Citizens' Assembly, "About the Citizens' Assembly",

[3] Dáil Éireann, “Programme for a Partnership Government,” May 2016,

[4] Dáil Éireann, “Resolution Approving Establishment of the Citizens’ Assembly,” July 2016, [broken link]

[5] “Procurement and Costs,” The Citizens’ Assembly, [Broken link]

[6] “Rules & Procedures,” The Citizens’ Assembly,

External Links

Official Website: