Wednesday, 11 May 2022
Ceisteanna - Questions
As Chair of the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Gender Equality, I thank the Taoiseach for his engagement with our committee. We are making progress on reviewing the recommendations of the citizens' assembly. Its 45 important recommendations are effectively a blueprint for achieving gender equality. We want to produce an action plan by the end of this year to ensure those recommendations will be implemented. We have sought assurances from the Taoiseach and the Government that a referendum will be held next year to put into effect recommendations Nos. 1 to 3, inclusive, of the citizens’ assembly. In other words, we are seeking constitutional change to delete the sexist language about women and mothers from the Constitution and to strengthen our equality guarantee. Can the Taoiseach give some indication that the Government will commit to holding that referendum, building on the work the joint committee is doing and the citizens’ assembly has done?
My colleague, Deputy Ó Ríordáin, and others have repeatedly sought a date for the proposed citizens’ assembly on drug use. Can that be brought forward to commence early next year, as I believe the Taoiseach indicated previously? Can that be confirmed?
We welcomed the citizens’ assembly on a directly-elected mayor for Dublin. Is it the intention to have an election for that office in May 2024? What is holding up plans for a directly-elected mayor of Limerick? We do not see any sign of plans to ensure the election for that office will take place either this year or next year. Since it has been three years since a plebiscite was held to introduce the office of a directly-elected mayor of Limerick and more than a year since the general scheme of the relevant Bill was published, we ask for a timeline for having a directly-elected mayor of Limerick.