Kilkenny will be first stop for We the Citizens, an independent national initiative aimed at showing how Ireland could benefit from citizens coming together in new forms of public decision-making. The objective is to help to renew democracy and to contribute towards the restoration of trust in public life, at this time of social and economic crisis in Ireland.
The event will be held in Langtons Hotel on Tuesday May 10th at 7pm with a bite to eat at 6.15pm.
The Chairman of We the Citizens, Fiach Mc Conghail, also Director of the Abbey Theatre, told the launch of the initiative that a national citizens’ assembly would be held in June to consider proposals on making the political institutions of the State better suited to serving citizens. We the Citizens will be organising the events but not setting the agenda for them. The agenda of the assembly will be decided by seven citizen-led events around the country and by a nationwide poll. 150 people, representing a cross-section of Irish society and who took part in the poll, will be invited to participate at the assembly.
The Chairperson announced that the citizens’ events leading up to the national assembly would take place during May and June in Kilkenny, Cork, Galway, Athlone, Letterkenny and Dublin. The discussion would be highly-participatory and led by the citizens themselves.
“All the political parties in the Oireachtas have made significant promises to lead and implement political reform and what We the Citizens will promise to do is two-fold,” said Mr Mac Conghail.
“We will maintain the pressure on our politicians to change the way we are governed in this Republic. We will also show that a bottom-up approach can support a better and more productive citizen engagement in creating public policy,” said Mr Mac Conghail.
We the Citizens is being steered by a board of people who have distinguished themselves across the private, public and NGO sectors and who are iving their time and expertise, entirely pro bono and is being organised in association with the Irish Universities Association.