Welcome to wethecitizens.ie!
‘We the Citizens’ is an independent national initiative with a clear and simple idea. We want to explore whether our Republic could benefit by citizens coming together in new ways of public decision-making.
We believe this could help to renew trust in politics at this time of social and economic crisis in Ireland.
So what are we about? In May and June of 2011, ‘We the Citizens’ invited fellow citizens to come together to share views on how to make our country better. ‘We the Citizens’ asked the people of Ireland to participate in one of our seven citizens’ events around the country. The purpose of the events was to provide a space for people to engage with each other on the future of our country. You can find the issues that were raised by people at the events in Kilkenny, Cork, Galway, Blanchardstown, Tallaght, Letterkenny and Athlone here.
The political scientists on our team – a group of young people who also want to help their country – were at the events to hear and take note of the messages coming from each one of them. The views expressed at these events helped inform the agenda of the National Citizens’ Assembly.
The assembly which took place on June 25th and June 26th 2011 in the Royal Hospital Kilmainham was made up of a cross-section of Irish people selected randomly. The 100 citizens who participated in the Assembly were aged from 18-87 and were from every background and province in Ireland. This is a model that’s been tried and tested with great success in other parts of the world. It shows that citizens are more than able to make considered and informed decisions on political and economic issues to their fellow-citizens and to government.
The ‘We the Citizens’ team are currently compiling the results of the Assembly and the extensive national survey work that took place before and after the Assembly. We look forward to presenting these findings shortly.
‘We the Citizens’ see this as a moment which gives Irish people the chance to help renew our Republic and to contribute to new models of citizen engagement.
Mar a deireann an seanfhocal, ‘Ní neart go cur le chéile.’ Ba bhrea linn tú a bheith linn ag na hocáidí poiblí.
Fiach Mac Conghail
We the Citizens