Press Release

It’s important that the report of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution is now given full consideration – Minister Harris

Minister for Health Simon Harris has welcomed the publication of the report of the Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution today (Wednesday), and stressed the need for its recommendations to now be given full consideration.

The Joint Committee on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, chaired by Senator Catherine Noone, was established to consider the Citizens’ Assembly report and recommendations.

Minister Harris said “I would like to commend the members of the Committee for their work, and thank them all for the contributions they have made. I wish to thank Senator Noone, in particular, for her calm and balanced handling of the issue as Chair. The Committee has done an excellent job and deserves that their final report is studied in detail. It is important that we take time to absorb the recommendations and to have a full discussion in the Oireachtas in the early New Year.”

The Minister continued “My Department has been working on identifying the next procedural steps which must be taken in this process. My officials will now also be working to develop legislative proposals based on the recommendations of the Joint Committee, in the event that the Government decides to hold a referendum on Article 40.3.3. All issues raised by the Committee in their report will be addressed as part of this process.”

Minister Harris concluded “This is an issue that, as a nation, we need to deal with definitively. It is very important that we fully consider and reflect on the recommendations made by the Joint Committee. I look forward to a constructive and robust debate in the Oireachtas, but it must be a respectful one. I am determined that we will prove ourselves capable of addressing these issues in a respectful way.”