Press Release

It is important that the report of the Citizens’ Assembly on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution is now given full consideration

Minister for Health Simon Harris has said that it is important that the Citizens’ Assembly final report on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution is given full consideration.

The report has been published today.

Minister Harris said, “The Government established the Citizens’ Assembly in line with our Programme for Partnership Government commitment to consider a number of matters including constitutional reform. Under the Assembly’s terms of reference, it was directed to first consider the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution (Article 40.3.3), with its conclusions on the matter to be submitted to the Houses of the Oireachtas for further debate by Parliament.

“The Assembly’s report has now been published and I would like to commend the members of their Assembly for their work. The report will be considered by a Special Oireachtas Committee. The Committee will be asked to report its conclusions and recommendations to both Houses of the Oireachtas within three months of its first public meeting. Members of the Dáil and Seanad will then have an opportunity to debate the issue before final Government consideration.

“It is very important now that the Special Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment commence its work to examine the recommendations of the Citizen’s Assembly. This is an issue that, as a nation, we now need to deal with definitively. This must be a respectful debate and I am determined that we will prove ourselves capable of addressing these issues in a respectful way. I want to be the Minister who brings forward the legislation to enable this important referendum in 2018.”