Sunday 20 October 2019

Assembly chair confident about process

Assembly chair Mary Laffoy
Assembly chair Mary Laffoy

Allison Bray

Former Supreme Court judge and current chair of the Citizens' Assembly Mary Laffoy said she has "full confidence" in the recruitment process for the convention despite the suspension of a recruiter who used personal contacts to enlist some members.

The recruiter for Red C Research has since been suspended pending an internal investigation after an audit revealed the recruiter used friends and family to recruit seven replacement members instead of properly selecting people randomly through door-to-door interviews.

The replacement members voted on issues relating to holding referendums in general during a session held on January 13 and 14.

But Ms Justice Laffoy said they had no input on any other issue and she has "full confidence in the recruitment process, outside of this isolated incident.

"It had no impact on the work of the assembly on previous topics," she said.

A Red C spokeswoman said there is "no evidence whatsoever that the recruiter had any agenda for not following the strict recruitment procedure".

Interviewers were "struggling to find specific demographics willing and able to take part, particularly in the last phase of recruitment".

What motivated the recruiter's action will be the subject of the internal probe, she added.

Irish Independent

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