The 2nd Sitting of the Irish Citizens' Assembly: Responding to an Ageing Population

The 2nd Sitting of the Irish Citizens' Assembly: Responding to an Ageing Population


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Brief Description

The Assembly met across two weekends to deliberate how Ireland should respond to the challenges and opportunities association with an ageing population. The Assembly agreed on 21 recommendations focusing on the state's duty to provide assistance in the form of long term care, independent living, income and pension provision, and post-retirement opportunities.

Problems and Purpose

Established by Parliamentary Resolution in 2016, the 100-member Irish Citizens' Assembly is an experiment in deliberative democracy intended to increase citizen participation in government decisions. The issue of state response to an ageing population was selected to be the second issue - after the Eighth Amendment - for consideration and recommendation by the Assembly. The Assembly provided a forum for a demographically-representative group of citizens to collect and consider public opinion; hear from stakeholders, NGOs, and experts; and to deliberative the issue before drafting a comprehensive set of recommendations for consideration by the Parliament.


The Irish Citizens’ Assembly’s Consideration of how best to respond to an ageing population was the second use of the Assembly as a consultative body. It's first use was on the topic of abortion rights as legislated under the Constitution's Eighth Amendment. The final meetings of the Assembly on the Eight Amendment were over the weekend of 22-23 April 2017 and the first meetings on the issue of ageing populations began six weeks later, on 10-11 June.  

Originating Entities and Funding


Participant Recruitment and Selection

The Citizens' Assembly is made up of 99 randomly selected, demographically-representative citizens from across Ireland. It is overseen by a government-appointed chairperson - currently former Supreme Court Judge Mary Laffoy - who is only called on to vote on the Assembly's final recommendations in the case of a draw. More information on the selection of the Assembly can be found in the parent case entry

Methods and Tools Used


Deliberation, Decisions, and Public Interaction


Influence, Outcomes, and Effects


Analysis and Lessons Learned


Secondary Sources


External Links

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Case Data


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Saturday, June 10, 2017
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Sunday, July 9, 2017
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Government of Ireland
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