11th October 2011
I raise the issue of the forthcoming referendums. The Referendum Commission has a website up and running but I am concerned that the campaign has just recently been launched. Having carried out informal surveys over the weekend, there seems to be very low public awareness that people must vote on two amendments to the Constitution on 27 October, in addition to the forthcoming presidential election. I worry about changing our Constitution without the electorate being sufficiently informed and involved in debate.
I note that last Thursday in Geneva the Minister for Justice and Equality announced that early in 2012 we will have a referendum to strengthen children’s rights in the Irish Constitution. I ask that we have a debate at the earliest opportunity to discuss the proposals for that referendum to ensure we do not encounter the pitfalls we encountered before.