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Petitions system allows for direct democracy

4th September 2012 - Charles Flanagan TD

Laois Offaly T.D. Charlie Flanagan has said the new parliamentary petitions system will allow for direct democracy and ensure that citizens have an opportunity to influence the parliamentary agenda. Deputy Flanagan was speaking after the petitions system was launched by a cross party group of TD’s and Senators in Dublin last Thursday.

“The Joint Committee on Public Oversight and Petitions, of which I am a member, identified the need for a system in which citizens could submit their policy concerns directly to its legislators. This system and our committee will receive and process public petitions with the intention of identifying areas of public service that need improvements”

“The end user of a public service is the person best placed to comment on the effectiveness or indeed the ineffectiveness of it. The people of Laois and Offaly now have an opportunity to submit their petitions via post and online. The object of the system is to enhance the accountability of the Houses of the Oireachtas.”

The public can access the petitions page through”

Access the Oireachtas petitions page and make a petition:

Background: Making a petition

– Any member of the public can submit a petition on a matter of general public interest or concern. Just one signature is required and there is no limit to the numbers who can support a petition. Petitioners should demonstrate that they have already taken steps to resolve the issue raised in their petition, for example, through raising it with the Ombudsman, public bodies, or directly with the relevant Government Department.
– Care must be taken to prepare petitions to ensure they comply with Oireachtas rules. There is a standard form which we request all petitioners to complete. This is available at and can be completed and submitted online, emailed or sent by post. The secretariat is also on hand to assist the public in completing this form and also to give advice on the type of petitions which can be accepted.
– A petition must relate to matters on which the Houses of the Oireachtas have the power to act and must not name individuals, relate to an on-going court case or contain language which is offensive or defamatory.

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