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Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Dáil today

RTE reports:

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has brought a memo to Cabinet to set up a citizens’ assembly which will look at a number of issues, starting with the Eighth Amendment.

The Dáil will have to pass a resolution to establish the assembly.

It is understood the assembly will sit for a year to address all issues referred to it, such as fixed parliaments but it will issue a report on each issue as they are completed.

The report on the Eighth Amendment will be referred to an all party Oireachtas committee when completed.

It is thought that the assembly will hold its first meeting by November.

Eighth Amendment to top citizens’ assembly agenda (RTE News)

Previously: ‘Overwriting Fact With Fairy Stories’

62 thoughts on “Can Kicked

    1. classter


      And fixed parliaments? Kenny is mad to copy Cameron, without even knowing why he is doing it.

  1. rotide

    Awaiting the first “Kenny is a poo head who hates women and wants to stifle all abortion debate’ comment, despite the steady move towards repealing the 8th.

    1. newsjustin

      Yeah. Some people have no idea about consensus building. Granted, I’m not in favour of removing the lines added in the 8th Amendment, but if people want it to be a success they’d be better off building a broad consensus. It seems like some die-hard pro-choice people want the same as me – a quick, half-thought-out referendum, offering no insight on future legislation, that is destined to fail and leave the status quo.

    2. Robert

      Still seems like a reasonably veracious statement to me .. it’s not like he has any choice in the matter – this is literally the least he could get away with doing.

    3. bisted

      …Kenny will be long gone with his possee of pensions before he’ll risk a belt of the crosier on this one

      1. Sheik Yahbouti

        bisted, this is the first (and probably the only) time I’ll agree with you. As for the two wasters above!! So depressed to see the same old crap, year in year out, for the entire of my adult life.

  2. manolo

    So he is hoping to put the subject on ice for 17 months and there is absolutely no guarantee that anything will happen. In the meantime, waste on ice for 12 months, water for 9.

    Hail the master of kicking the bucket down the road. Who needs leadership!?!

    1. realPolithicks

      Apparently his own party want him out before Christmas. He is the definition of an empty suit.

    2. ahjayzis

      Hey now, hey now. It’s a very serious matter, women’s ladybits, it requires a long, looooong, drawwwwwn out talking shop and a lot of TDs wrestling with their consciences on whether to give the great unwashed a say in their own constitution.

      It’s not something simple and straightfoward like locking the state into Euro fiscal chains for all eternity, sure that was as simple as voting on STABILISHY.
      Maybe if we get Merkel to ask Enda he’ll get the finger out.

    3. Daisy Chainsaw

      Seventeen months. That’s roughly 7,500 Irish abortions exported. He really doesn’t care, does he?

  3. Huh?

    What did the people constitution consultation thingy say about the 8th? Or did they?
    And how is this committee different to that one?
    Didn’t they ignore most of their findings?

    1. manolo

      It is all non-binding, just like the UN’s findings that Ireland is in breach of human right.

      He has been giving us all the two fingered salute for years only that it is becoming more obvious now to all.

  4. Robert

    Ehhh isn’t the Oireachtas supposed to be a “Citizen’s assembly”? Maybe they think they’re above the citizenry now?

    1. realPolithicks

      Exactly. How about showing some leadership for once and actually start a real debate about the subject.

  5. ahjayzis

    Consensus building my hoop.

    He’s kicked a serious issue of public health policy out of our elected citizen’s assembly and handed it to an unelected, unaccountable, unconstitutional second citizen’s assembly.

    I mean if our national parliament is only for cribbing about waste collection charges and collectively not passing a single piece of legislation in over 200 days just say so, let’s abolish it and run ourselves via this new system of randomly selecting people to sit on citizens assemblies for a years term.

    1. newsjustin

      So would you be happy if the Dail took a straight vote – Referendum or No Referendum and risk not getting a referendum at all?

      1. newsjustin

        Because it seems to me very clear that this citizens assembly is being established to deliver on thing – a referendum to repeal the 8th.

      2. ahjayzis

        Do you think this selection of randomers they pull off the street is going to change the TD’s minds either way? Who do you think is going to let their conscience be overruled by this talking shop submitting a few pages of A4?

        They’re going to sit and listen to testimony from doctors, women, priests and the like, and then make a recommendation. Worthy stuff. By why can’t our parliamentarians actually listen to that evidence instead? Don’t we have a health committee? Didn’t we run through this exact exercise in-house in 2013? Is this not their fupping job?!

        1. newsjustin

          It is. But, for some reason, politicians like to avoid making decisions that may mark them out as either pro or anti abortion. They want to pass the buck – that’s cap – but one can whine about it or see it as the means to deliver the outcome one would like.

          1. ahjayzis

            Take the abortion baggage out of it here newsjustin and it’s just another shining example of an Irish government being unable or unwilling to actually govern or lead. They administrate, at best.

            Like as was said above, 9 months can kicking on water, 12 on waste, 17 on the 8th and Coveney’s taking August off on housing. But got a bank that needs rescuing? A fiscal treaty needs ratifying? Put the coffee on, we’re staying all night. A water regime so botched academics will write books about it? Passed in 3 hours.

            Our politics only seems to actually lead and push through on things demanded from outside the country, they could not be less arsed about legislating for things wanted and needed at home.

            If the 8th is repealed tomorrow the current laws will still prevail. How many decades of consultation will only begin the day after that vote?

          2. newsjustin

            Leading is not just about making unilateral decisions.

            Leading is, more often, about bringing as many people along with you.

            I expect there’s a middle ground and understand that some people are impatient.

  6. realPolithicks

    “unelected, unaccountable, unconstitutional second citizen’s assembly”

    Who gets to choose the members of this “assembly”? You can get whatever answer you want if you pick the “right” people.

    1. ahjayzis

      Apparently it’s by lot, like jury service, a random selection of about 100 people.

      Remember a polling company won’t consider a sample representative if it’s less than 1000 people, and they weight them for demographics and geography in any case, but who cares about that right? It’s only a sub-legislature our wonderful leader has willed into existence to bypass debate in our actual, representative legislature.

        1. ahjayzis


          You think Labour didn't have that commitment sewn up during PfG negotiations? The CCven was a sop to FG and you know it. No assembly of citizens is going to vote not to let the citizens have a vote. It's stage management, it's one step off using general public funds for electoral marketing.

  7. 15 cent

    not just can kicking, but also placing the decision to take action on an appointed committee so when they reject an appeal on grounds of their ‘findings’, Kenny can say his hands are tied when pressed on the matter, siting the committees decision as reason. Like what he’s doing with the project eagle/nama stuff at the moment, He jsut keeps sayin a report was carried out or whatever. He’s a spineless sack who doesnt want to actually do anything other than have people slap him on the back and tell him he’s great. no one in the public does that, thats why he doesnt listen to us. we dont praise him, so he doesnt see that as a sign of his failings, but of ours. so he doesnt think we know whats best for us.

  8. Starina

    a year! theu can move in a month when some lad takes too many legal mushrooms and walks out a window but they need a year just to talk about the 8th nevermind legislate for it?!

    1. manolo

      Yes, a year from next November. Just about enough time to make the next excuse up to ignore the issue.

      This is not about delaying the decision process, it is about avoiding it completely.

      1. Bonkers

        And you know who is coming to Co.Mayo in the latter half of 2017, none other than the Pope himself. The visit will take in Dublin, Armagh and Knock in Enda’s backyard

        1. manolo

          Enda would be perfectly capable of manipulating things this way.

          Between the blasphemy law and the 8th, we are a source of inspiration for many people around the world who want to live in a religious fundamentalist country.

  9. nellyb

    Here is business idea for Kenny et al: broadcast wide spread (and legally acknowledged) hermaphroditism on our island and we’ll be buried in R&D investments from pharma and biotech. Oh the possibilities! But ‘ladies WC’ would need to be renamed accordingly.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      At least 24 years since the X case showed just what a cruel and useless peice of waffle the 8th amendment is.

  10. Fully Keen

    I said 2022 a few days ago, lets stretch that out a bit… 2025 and that’s a maybe.

  11. Pip

    Sad that we can’t think ‘this is where it’s going to end up, so let’s get there quick and save the pain’.
    Parents go through this all the time, with differing approaches/results.

  12. some old queen

    Ok I am going to throw my opinion out there and it may cause offence. II am a gay man so this issue has not and will not affect me but I also come from a generation where irresponsible sexual behaviour meant death not life. I repeat, no offence is meant as I am an outsider in this debate.

    Two experiences come to mind.

    The first is a woman I lived with who had an abortion. She had no problem with what she had done which is good enough for me. But she also said that her second pregnancy and first child was going to arrive. In her words there was no question but that he was coming. She was a believer in reincarnation btw.

    The second was a man who had a strong sense of something missing. Went through counselling and then later discovered that his twin had died at five months in the womb only to be discovered after his birth. This was a long time ago so no imaging like now but, it made sense to him.

    I see families who have one or more disabled children and in later life they all seem to be closer. In my own is a woman with Downs Syndrome. 60+ and an uncanny mix of speaking from the heart while being worldly wise. It really takes a while to get your head around that as she will floor you with her blunt honesty. My point is that from a family perspective, one with disability can be a positive not a negative.

    When does life begin? I genuinely don’t know and the two camps do not make it any clearer. I have the greatest empathy for women who are forced abroad and yet I am uneasy about it in the first place. But, I really dislike the fact that the two and possibly three people involved have got mixed up with wider gender politics.

    I think it is time for a mature debate.

    1. Peter Dempsey

      @ Some Old Queen

      Thanks for your insight. I also share your unease.

      Your “I am a gay man so this issue has not and will not affect me” comment is refreshing. If only Colm O’Gorman would take note.

      1. some old queen

        Colm and I are very different men Peter. We would both probably agree that he is a sexy otter but Ireland is quite different to most countries in so far as it needs to be trashed out in public.

        I have no faith in RTÉ to do this job.

      2. Clo

        Same sex marriage issue didn’t affect me, yet I voted yes because it affected other people. Why are you bringing up Down syndrome? It’s not a fatal abnormality. Banning abortion here doesn’t stop the abortion of Downs foetuses: people will go to England if they are inclined to do so. To imply that repealing the 8th will result in more such abortions is a red herring, and an Irish law allowing abortion could be designed to allow abortions to 10 weeks, and only for fatal abnormalities after that point – Down’s can’t be accurately or safely tested for until at least 12 weeks. But even then people would still go to England despite your scruples.

  13. Inopera

    The Irish do not need to be condescended by another assembly to discuss this. Like the marriage vote, they need a bloody referendum. Let us vote !

    1. some old queen

      No this is different. Lets talk. Every community based centre, every place possible. let’s talk to each other.

    2. some old queen

      Ok let me point out the difference between this and Equal Marriage, at least as I see it.

      Despite the bullsh|t from the No campaign, SSM really affected no one apart from the two people concerned and it was a very clear cut issue which ended once the votes were counted.

      Abortion is different because there a varying degrees of it. On one level is the restriction on fetal abnormalities which most people would agree is wrong but there is also a collective fear that we may get to the point like England where it nearly becomes a form of birth control. This is why I used the example of Down Syndrome above.

      But for the repeal the 8th movement to succeed, the wider topic must be discussed in every home in the country, just the same as equal marriage. The problem is that very few couples who have gone through it are willing to speak openly about their experiences.

      Maybe sites like Broadsheet where people can remain anonymous are the place to start?

      1. MoyestWithExcitement

        “there is also a collective fear that we may get to the point like England where it nearly becomes a form of birth control.”

        Pardon? Link?

        1. Clo

          Birth control? You really are ignorant of the ways of women’s reproduction aren’t you. Perhaps you should stay out if this until you’ve informed yourself?

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