Minister Murphy announces establishment of Referendum Commission
Mr. Eoghan Murphy, T.D., Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, announced today (20 July 2018) that an order has been made under the Referendum Act 1998 establishing an independent statutory Referendum Commission for the purpose of the forthcoming referendum on the Thirty-seventh Amendment of the Constitution (Repeal of offence of publication or utterance of blasphemous matter) Bill 2018.
In accordance with the 1998 Act, the Chief Justice has nominated Ms. Justice Isobel Kennedy to act as Chairperson to the Commission.
The other members of the Commission are:
• the Comptroller and Auditor General (Mr Seamus McCarthy),
• the Ombudsman (Mr Peter Tyndall),
• the Clerk of the Dáil (Mr Peter Finnegan), and
• the Clerk of the Seanad (Mr Martin Groves).
The principal function of the Commission is to prepare, publish and distribute to the electorate statements containing a general explanation of the subject matter of the referendum proposal, to promote awareness of the referendum and to encourage the electorate to vote.
The Commission will, in addition, consider and rule on applications from bodies or groups for declaration as approved bodies who may appoint agents at the referendum to be present at polling stations and at the counting of votes.