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Irish News

“Citizens Assembly shown to be a fiction of democratic representation,” McGrath

Independent TD Mattie McGrath has sharply criticised the polling process which was used to select the members of the Citizens Assembly. Deputy McGrath was speaking as concerns around the integrity of the Assembly continue to mount following confirmation that a member of the selected group has been shown to be a vocal and active campaigner for the repeal of the Eighth Amendment:

“The published details on the membership of the Citizens Assembly reveal that 11 counties within the state have not a single representative person included in its deliberations.

Citizens from Tipperary, Leitrim, Cavan, Louth, Sligo, Longford, Offaly, Kilkenny, Carlow, Waterford and Kerry are entirely absent. In light of that information the pretence that this is even a remotely democratic process cannot be maintained.

The Assembly is being asked to deliberate and recommend profound changes to the Constitution of this nation; changes that will affect all of us for generations to come, born and unborn.

Yet counties with a combined population of at least nine hundred and seventy thousand people have no representative.

From the very beginning serious questions have been raised about the integrity of this absurd process which has been set up as a kind of parallel legislative body to the Oireachtas. This is deeply concerning its own right.

I believe there is a genuine imperative at this point to question the validity of the entire process and the robustness of the polling methodology that was employed to select members.

How is it for instance that despite Red C specifically reminding people who were polled that active campaigners on either side of the issues were to be excluded, that at least one high profile social media campaigner for repeal was selected?

This raises real and credible doubts that must be addressed. The fact that almost a million people will have no representative person from their county ought to be a source of shame and embarrassment to the entire process also,” concluded Deputy McGrath.