Publication of Submissions on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution

The submissions process on the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution is now closed.

Submissions were accepted from the 14 October 2016 to 5pm on 16 December 2016. Postal submissions received after the 16 December were not accepted.

The majority of submissions have now been published on the website. The Secretariat continues to review a small number of submissions, in some cases at the request of the submitter. As such some additional submissions may continue to be uploaded or removed over the coming weeks.

Approximately 13,075 submissions were received, of which 8,092 were received online and 4,983 were received by post.

Of these, approximately 12,200 have been published up to today’s date (7 April 2017). In total 872 were not published. Of those originally received and not published the reasons were as follows:

529 did not comply with the submission rules/ guidelines -

                    • 415 were submitted anonymously online; 
                    • 102 were received by post and had indecipherable signatures and were therefore deemed to be anonymous; 
                    • 4 contained offensive or inappropriate material and therefore did not comply with the submissions rules/ guidelines; 
                    • 8 were not relevant to the topic.

In addition a further 343 submissions were not published for the following reasons:

                    • 325 duplicates (where the exact same submission was received more than once online with the exact same time stamp on the submission, thus indicating that the submitter hit submit more than once by accident); 
                    • 18 requests for removal from submitters.

The total number of submissions received and published will be finalised in the coming weeks.

Submissions Rules/Guidelines

The following rules apply in respect of submissions received by the Assembly and were advised in advance. Subsequent decisions taken by the Secretariat during the process are in italics below.

  1. The Assembly welcomed submissions from Irish citizens and non-citizens living in Ireland or living abroad. 
  2. All submissions received were published on the website and displayed with a full name (first name, surname)/name of organisation, if appropriate
  3. Anonymous submissions were not accepted. Submissions made with just a first name listed are not being published. Equally, submissions received with an initial and surname (e.g. J Smyth) are not being published. Exception: Submissions received with a series of initials that are commonly recognised as being a name (i.e. JP, PJ, AP) and a surname can be published. 
  4. In the case of personal stories and sensitive submissions, all personal data and related identifiable details were removed or redacted if requested. These submissions are listed online as “Name with Secretariat”, or NWS. 
  5. If an individual asks for their name to be withheld but they have not submitted a personal story, only comment/opinion, the Secretariat can contact the individual to ask would they like their submission removed as all submissions are being published with a name etc (as in number 2 above).
  6. If an individual has indicated that they are under the age of 18 and requests that their name is withheld this has been respected.
  7. Each submission received either on our website or by post, was be treated as an individual submission and include any or all signatures to that submission. If, for example, a submission was received with twenty signatures it will be treated as one submission. If the same submission is received twenty times, each signed individually, they will be treated as twenty submissions.
  8. The Citizens' Assembly reserves the right not to accept a submission if it is deemed offensive or inappropriate.

Note: Submissions Not Received

The Secretariat is aware that in some instances, users availing of the online system to make a submission did not successfully complete the process.

The Assembly’s website development company, pTools, has reviewed the application, server logs and other logs and believes that, due to the high volume of submissions over the period, especially in the closing week, some submission may not have been captured. The company has advised that this could have happened for a number of reasons e.g. where a person's internet connection was interrupted, where the connection timed out, where the submit button was not pressed at the end of the submission process or where it was pressed but due to the high volume of traffic the transaction failed to complete.

The Secretariat continues to deal with any of these queries on a case by case basis. Where partial details were captured from which pTools were able to identify the contact details of the person making the submission these details were supplied to the Secretariat who made contact with those individuals.