Wednesday 7 December 2016

Passing the buck on the Eighth to the Citizens' Assembly is so unfair

Published 17/10/2016 | 02:30

Chairperson of the Citizens’ Assembly Justice Mary Laffoy with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the inaugural meeting of the assembly on Saturday. Photo: Justin Farrelly
Chairperson of the Citizens’ Assembly Justice Mary Laffoy with Taoiseach Enda Kenny at the inaugural meeting of the assembly on Saturday. Photo: Justin Farrelly

On Saturday afternoon, all the gates were locked around Dublin Castle, crowds gathered outside, peering through the iron bars. They listened intently to their various tour guides giving them a running history of Ireland's oppression under English rule -unaware that inside, an assembly had gathered to initiate a debate on Ireland's oppression of women's rights.

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Such was the security around the inaugural meeting of the Citizens' Assembly that only the 99 chosen few could be admitted. And such is the sensitivity around their first debate, the repeal of the 8th Amendment to the Constitution, that it was only right they should be left in peace. Defying that sensitivity, at the main gate, a lone male figure carried a placard bearing the ninth commandment.

Inside St Patrick's Hall, An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, smothering with a cold, addressed the chosen assembly.

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