On 30 September 2022, Prof Fidelma Ashe provided expert testimony to the Seanad Public Consultation Committee’s formal hearings on the constitutional future of the island of Ireland.
Professor Ashe outlined the empirical findings and a series of gendered principles from her report Gendering Constitutional Conversations for the committee (TJI, 2022). Co-investigator, Eilish Rooney responded to senators’ questions about the research findings and the methodological approach utilised. She commented ‘we can say back to the women that we worked with the Seanad heard you’. Dr Joanna McMinn who played a critical role in the recruitment of women’s groups and the facilitation of the research workshops also attended the session.
The committee Chair, Senator Mark Daly commented that in the session there had been a huge range of insights, ‘but particularly, for the Transitional Justice Institute and their work, they are way ahead of us and they are way ahead of everyone else in the work that they have done, and I think it is a template for having a conversation in those hard to reach communities’.
Senator Frances Black thanked Professor Ashe for her testimony and she commented that the research is vital in these conversations going forward.