Date set for first meeting of Citizens' Assembly on 8th Amendment

Enda Kenny said he hopes "the voices of all those women who have had to go through with this" are heard very clearly

Date set for first meeting of Citizens' Assembly on 8th Amendment

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The new Citizens' Assembly, which will examine the 8th Amendment, will meet for the first time next month.

It has been confirmed that the assembly will hold its first public meeting on Saturday October 15th.

The assembly is set to consider the 8th Amendment to the Constitution, which gives equal recognition to a mother and an unborn child.

The group of 100 citizens will be chaired by Supreme Court judge Mary Laffoy, and proceedings will be streamed live online.

Speaking this morning, the Taoiseach said the 8th Amendment "has always been an issue of real problem for so many people on either of the debate".

He explained: "I do think it's appropriate that after all the years now that there be a formal structure for people to give their views. There are a number of particular cases, either rape, incest or fatal foetal abnormalities, and I get correspondence from people who've suffered the trauma and difficulties associated with this on a regular basis."

He said he hopes that "the voices of all those women who have had to go through with this" are heard very clearly during the assembly process.

The issue of abortion and the 8th Amendment will be the first matter the assembly considers and reports to the Government on.

Other issues, such as the prospect of fixed-term parliaments, will also be examined.