New Referendum Commission Established
A new Referendum Commission has been established by the Minister for Environment, Community and Local Government for the forthcoming Referendum on the Thirty-second Amendment of the Constitution (Abolition of Seanad Éireann) Bill 2013. The Referendum is on a proposal to abolish Seanad Éireann and if it is approved by the Houses of the Oireachtas it is expected to take place in the autumn.
High Court Judge Ms Justice Elizabeth Dunne has been nominated as the Chairperson of the new Commission. The Referendum Act provides that the other members of the Commission are:
• the Comptroller and Auditor General (Mr. Seamus McCarthy),
• the Ombudsman (Ms. Emily O’Reilly),
• the Clerk of the Dáil (Mr. Kieran Coughlan), and
• the Clerk of the Seanad (Ms. Deirdre Lane).
The Referendum Commission’s role is to explain the subject matter of referendum proposals, to promote public awareness of the referendum and to encourage the electorate to vote at the poll. The Referendum Commission is an independent body, set up by the Referendum Act 1998 as amended by the Referendum Act 2001.
The Commission will, in addition, consider and rule on applications from bodies or groups for declaration as approved bodies who may appoint agents at the referendum to be present at polling stations and at the counting of votes.
For further information please contact:
Mark Brennock 087 2335923
Aoibheann O’Sullivan 087 6291453
David Waddell 087 2329814