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Convention votes to strengthen economic, social, and cultural rights

The ninth and final meeting of the Constitutional Convention also voted to emphasis rights to housing, social security, and essential health care.
Feb 23rd 2014, 2:26 PM 7,059 64

Updated at 4.50pm

THE CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION has today voted to have the right to housing, social security, and essential health care ‘expressly stated’ in the constitution.

It will also be recommended that the rights of people with disabilities, and also linguistic and cultural rights should also stressed.

The ninth and final meeting of the convention looked to address the ‘limited protection’ offered to Economic, Social, and Cultural (ESC) rights in the constitution.

These include labour and property rights, the right adequate shelter, and the right for ethnic minorities to practice their own culture, faith, and language.

85 per cent of attendees voted to amend the constitution, while the remaining 15 per cent voted against the proposal.

Chairman Tom Arnold expressed his “sincere thanks and congratulations” to all those who took part.

“These members were asked to give up their time to considering changes to our Constitution and did so in the spirit of public service.

The Convention on the Constitution showed us that the Constitution is a living breathing document with a very real impact on our lives.

“It has been an enormous privilege and pleasure to work on this project and my sincerest of thanks to everyone involved for their effort,” he said.

Speakers at this weekend’s convention included Amnesty Ireland Executive Director Colm O’Gorman and barrister and former Minister for Justice Michael McDowell.

“What we are advocating is neither radical, not revolutionary”, O’Gorman said, speaking in favour of the amendment.

We are in a moment of change. We are emerging from some of our darkest economic days, while looking to the centenary of our birth. We must consider how we might do things differently.

Here’s the final ballot and results from today:


Click here to view a larger version.

Read: Convention favours Ceann Comhairle secret ballot and change to whip system >

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Nicky Ryan


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