Local Fine Gael TD, Regina Doherty, says she looking forward to playing her part on the Constitutional Convention. Deputy Doherty was speaking after the Fine Gael delegation on the Convention was announced recently.
"It is very exciting to be included in our first ever Constitutional Convention, which will bring together politicians and citizens to consider possible changes to the Constitution like never before. It is a great privilege to be asked by An Taoiseach to serve as one of the Fine Gael members on the Convention.
"We all have a duty to ensure we get the most out of this process. In the run up to its formation it has been criticised for being nothing more than a talking shop. That is an insult to the 66 members of the public who are being selected at random to take part. Politicians from every political party will also be involved, ensuring we have a wide variety of views, opinions and experience to add to the process," she said
"The Constitutional Convention is one of the many methods this Government is employing to introduce significant reform. The Convention will first consider reducing the voting age and shortening the Presidential term. I think it is a very good idea that we begin the process with two topics that are relatively uncontroversial. In this way, if there are any teething problems with the way the Convention is being conducted, we can address them at an early stage.
"The Convention will report on these first two issues within two months, and over the next year or so it will consider a number of other Constitutional issues.
"I am very glad that a number of the issues listed for consideration under the Convention have particular relevance to women. Ensuring that women are fully represented and respected in public and private life in Ireland remains a constant challenge. The Convention will consider amending the clause on the role of women in the home, encouraging greater participation of women in public life and increasing the participation of women in politics.
"The Constitutional Convention can bridge the gap between politics and the people. We are embarking on an innovative process that aims to equip the Constitution for the challenges of the 21st Century. I am delighted to be taking part."