A file image of UL law lecturer Laura Cahillane giving a talk
Wednesday, 6 December 2023

On December 6 2023, Dr Laura Cahillane was quoted in the Irish Times on the issue of the wording of the referendum on care set to be held in March next year.

Dr Cahillane said the wording of the care amendment meant the Government had “completely fudged an opportunity to do something positive” and that wording is not in line with the 2021 proposals of the Citizens’ Assembly which had voted that Article 41.2 be replaced with a gender-neutral alternative that had meaning and was not just symbolic.

The assembly voted to have a broader definition of care, which would mean the State had an obligation to support care, she said. The wording advocated by the Assembly did not impose an “overly onerous” duty on the State, she said. “It meant the State could argue it was taking reasonable measures to support care, but it would still have allowed carers to bring a case arguing that what was being provided was not reasonable.”

She stressed that she welcomed that the proposed wording removes the outdated language but that she was "very disappointed and frustrated that it is being replaced by a purely symbolic provision, a cosmetic change.” Read the Irish Times article here