Monday 23 October 2017

Revealed: Timeline for the seven referendums you'll be voting in over the next two years

Kevin Doyle

Kevin Doyle

The Cabinet has formally agreed a timeline for seven referendum over the next two years.

Voters will be repeatedly going to the polls to decide on potential changes to the constitution between next summer and June 2019.

Under the plans referendums will be held in:

-          May/June 2018: The Eighth Amendment

-          October 2018: Blasphemy and the “Woman’s life within the home”

-          October 2018: Plebiscite on directly elected mayors in certain cities

-          June 2019: Divorce; Giving voting rights at Presidential elections to members of the diaspora and lowering the voting age to 16.

Each referendum will be subject to passage of Bills by the Houses of the Oireachtas and formal confirmation of the polling date.

Announcing the proposals, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: “Any amendment to our Constitution requires careful consideration by the people.

They should be given ample time to consider the issues and to take part in well-informed public debate.  Setting a timetable for the referendums to be held over the next two years will allow all involved in campaigning on the issues to plan ahead and to facilitate that public debate.”

The Citizens' Assembly report on the on the Eighth amendment of the Constitution is currently being considered by the Joint Oireachtas Committee which is expected to report before the end of the year. 

A Bill to amend the Constitution will be prepared in light of the Committee’s report, and subject to its passage by the Houses of the Oireachtas, a referendum will be held in May or June of 2018.

The Government is also still considering the holding of a referendum on keeping Irish Water in public ownership but this is not seen as a priority.

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