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Dublin: 23°C Friday 12 August 2022

The Citizens' Assembly is back this weekend - this time they're dealing with the issue of ageing

The Assembly recently delivered its final report and recommendations on the Eight Amendment.

Image: Shutterstock/Ruslan Guzov

MOST PEOPLE ASSOCIATE the Citizens’ Assembly with discussions about the Eighth Amendment, but it is meeting today to discuss another issue.

The Assembly recently delivered its final report and recommendations stating that the Oireachtas should legislate for abortion and allow abortion without restriction up to 12 weeks in Ireland.

Voters are expected to be asked whether they support the findings of the Citizen’s Assembly findings in a referendum next year, and an Oireachtas committee is now being set up to examine how to proceed.

With the work on abortion dealt with, the 99 citizens (randomly selected to be broadly representative of the Irish electorate) tasked with considering some of the most important issues facing Ireland’s future, will reconvene to consider another issue: How we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population.

While the Assembly met over a number of weeks to discuss the issue of abortion, hearing from experts and groups on both sides of the spectrum, there will be just two meetings held to discuss the issue of Ireland’s ageing population.

The agenda for this weekend’s discussion will focus on the long-term care of the elderly  and facilitating independent living in Ireland.

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Groups have already made their submissions to the Assembly, the documents of which are available to the public.

The Citizens’ Assembly Chairperson, Justice Mary Laffoy said, “Ireland’s ageing population brings implications for policy, service delivery, and long-term planning in diverse areas such as health, long-term care, independence, participation, and inclusion”.

She commended the work ethic of the Assembly members who give their time freely “in the service of deliberative democracy,” she said.

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