Nearly 35,000 invitations have been issued seeking participants in new citizens’ assemblies on biodiversity and a directly-elected mayor for Dublin.
Expressions of interest are being sought in what is being called a deliberate move to broaden participation beyond those on the electoral register.
It is understood that 34,000 envelopes have been sent to homes containing an exclusive invitation from Taoiseach Micheál Martin to participate in the new assemblies to influence national decisions on these two important issues.
Each address to which an invitation has been sent has been randomly selected via the Geodirectory database.
Those who receive an invitation will be able to register their interest online on CitizensAssembly.ie/register by March 14.
This will allow a further selection process to create assemblies broadly representative of Irish and Dublin life and communities.
Up to 20,000 invitations to the Biodiversity Assembly have been sent nationwide and 14,000 to those in Dublin for the Dublin Assembly, it is understood.
The Biodiversity Assembly will have a further 99 members selected from those who register their interest.
The Dublin Assembly will have 79 members, 12 of whom will be councillors in the four local authorities and 67 selected from those who register their interest.
After more than 20 years of debate about the need for a directly-elected mayor in Dublin, the Dublin Assembly arises from the significant changes that have taken place in the capital city in recent decades.
The Dublin Citizens’ Assembly will help create a new vision for the administration of Dublin, proposing new ways to manage the many and varied challenges and opportunities for Dublin City and county and its people.
The Citizens’ Assembly on Biodiversity will address one of the most critical issues facing Ireland and the wider world and is delivering on what was a commitment in the Programme for Government.
The two assemblies are scheduled to start their work in April and should conclude their work by the end of the year at the latest.
Each assembly will have an independent chair.
Previous citizens’ assemblies have demonstrated the power of bringing a group of people broadly representative to consider, discuss, and make recommendations to the Government on critical aspects of Irish life, such as the Eighth Amendment, gender equality, and climate change.
Speaking about the upcoming citizens’ assemblies, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said “The citizens’ assemblies are a key commitment in the Programme for Government. We want to build on the success of previous assemblies in examining a wide range of important national issues.
"These assemblies have become an important part of our democratic system in recent years, offering people an important opportunity to contribute directly to national decision-making.
“In a deliberate move to further broaden participation and representation, The citizens’ assembly has today announced a new and innovative recruitment process for members of the upcoming assemblies on biodiversity loss and a directly-elected mayor for Dublin that are due to take place from April,” he said.