8-9 July 2017

2016 – 2018 Citizens’ Assembly 

Second Meeting on How We Best Respond to the Challenges and Opportunities of an Ageing Population

The Assembly met for a second and final meeting to consider how we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population on 8-9 July 2017.

Agenda for second meeting of the Citizens’ Assembly on how we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population

Saturday’s Proceedings

The Chair’s opening speech to the Assembly on the Saturday morning is available to read here.

The work programme for Saturday focused on pensions, income and retirement.

Session 1: Pension Provision in Ireland

Andrew Nugent (The Pensions Authority) – “Pension Provision in Ireland

Andrew Nugent joined the Pensions Authority in 2006 and worked on many policy issues during that time.  Andrew has also been involved in pension policy issues at EU level including the negotiations on a Portability Directive and IORPs II. He is currently the Head of Development. The Development Unit is designing and implementing the changes need to give effect to the proposed pension reforms and the IORP II Directive. Andrew previously worked in a number of Government Departments.

Andrew Nugent’s delivery of his paper on “Pension Provision in Ireland” was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. Andrew Nugent’s presentation to the Assembly can be watched back here.

Session 2: Income for Older People in Ireland

Dr Micheál Collins (UCD) – “Income for Older People in Ireland

Dr Micheál Collins is Assistant Professor of Social Policy at University College Dublin. Previously he was a Senior Economist at the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI). His research interests and publications are in the areas of income distribution, taxation, economic evaluation and public policy.

He was a member of the Commission on Taxation (2008-2009) and the Government’s Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare (2011-2014). He is a former chair of the Irish Social Policy Association (ISPA) and the Regional Studies Association (RSA) of Ireland. He is currently a member of the National Competitiveness Council, the TCD Pensions Policy Research Group and the Living Wage Technical Group.  Dr Collins is a native of Ennis in Co. Clare and a graduate of NUI Galway, UCC and the University of Dublin, Trinity College. He is a fellow of the Regional Studies Association (FeRSA).

Dr Collins delivery of his paper on “Income for Older People in Ireland” was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. Dr Collins presentation to the Assembly can be watched back here.

Session 3: The Implications of Pensions and Retirement Policy on the Wider Economy and Society

Alan Barrett (ESRI) – “The implications of pensions and retirement policy on the wider economy and society

Professor Alan Barrett is the Director of the Economic and Social Research Institute. He took up his post in July 2015. He joined the ESRI in 1994, upon the completion of his doctoral studies at Michigan State University. His main research areas are labour economics and population economics. Between 2001 and 2003, Alan was seconded to the Department of Finance (Ireland’s Treasury) where he worked on the long-term fiscal implications of population ageing. Between 2011 and 2013, he was seconded to the Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) at Trinity College Dublin where he worked as Project Director. He was a member of the Irish Fiscal Advisory Council from 2011 to 2015.

Prof Barrett’s delivery of his paper on “The implications of pensions and retirement policy on the wider economy and society” was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. Prof Barrett’s presentation to the Assembly can be watched back here.

Session 4: Why Aren’t People Taking Out Pensions?

Prof Liam Delaney (UCD) – “Encouraging Pension Participation: Some evidence from Behavioural Economics

Liam Delaney is Professor of Economics at UCD and Visiting Professor of Economics at Stirling University. A former Fulbright and Marie Sklodowska Curie Fellow, he was Deputy Director of the UCD Geary Institute from 2008 to 2011, and Deputy Dean of Stirling Management School from 2011 to 2016. He has worked at the intersection of economics and psychology for his career and has published widely in both economics and psychology journals, including Economic Journal, Journal of European Economics Association, Health Psychology, Psychological Science, and Journal of Applied Psychology. He is particularly interested in the measurement foundations of behavioural welfare economics and has built several interdisciplinary projects examining how to measure real-world economic preferences. He is currently developing a major new centre for behavioural science and public policy at UCD Geary Institute. He has previously worked for the ESRI and held visiting appointments at the University of Sydney and Princeton University.

Prof Delaney’s delivery of his paper on “Encouraging Pension Participation: Some evidence from Behavioural Economics” was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. Prof Delaney’s presentation to the Assembly can be watched back here.

Session 5: Pensions, Income and Retirement: What Action is Required by Government? Perspectives from Civil Society

Justin Moran (Age Action) 

After graduating from Dublin City University, Justin worked for Sinn Féin in a variety of national policy and advocacy roles, including as head of the party’s Leinster House Press Office. Leaving in 2007, he worked briefly with the European Anti-Poverty Network and then joined Amnesty International Ireland where he ran the communications team for the next six and a half years. Before joining Age Action, he worked with EirGrid, the national transmission system operator, on one of the country’s largest infrastructure projects. Justin has a Degree in Journalism and a Masters Degree in International Relations.

Justin Moran’s delivery of Age Action’s Submission on how we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. Justin Moran’s presentation can be watched back here.

Session 5: Pensions, Income and Retirement: Human Rights and Equality Considerations

Emily Logan & Dr Mary Murphy (IHREC) 

Emily Logan is the first Chief Commissioner of the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission appointed by President Michael D Higgins on 31 October 2014, following an open competition.

In the decade prior to her appointment, Ms Logan served as Ireland’s first Ombudsman for Children, accounting directly to the Oireachtas. In 2008, she was appointed by her peers to the position of President of the European Network of Ombudsmen for Children, a network of 40 Ombudsman for Children Offices across Council of Europe member states and remained on the executive until September 2011. In 2013 she was appointed in a personal capacity by the Minister for Justice to undertake a statutory inquiry into the taking into care of two children from two Roma families by An Garda Síochána.

She has twenty five years management experience in Ireland and the UK. For six years preceding her appointment as Ombudsman for Children, she held two senior positions in public administration: Director of Nursing at Crumlin Children’s Hospital and Director of Nursing at Tallaght Hospital, following her time as Directorate Manager in Great Ormond Street Hospital London. Ms Logan graduated from Queens University with an LLM in Human Rights Law, University College Dublin with an MBA and Diploma in Mediation, and from City University London with an MSc in Psychology. She was awarded two honorary Degrees of Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the National University of Ireland, Maynooth and from University College Dublin.

Mary Murphy is a Lecturer in Irish Politics and Society at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth. Previously Mary was a member, via Ministerial Appointment, of the National Advisory Group on Tax and Social Welfare. She has also served as Irish national expert on European Network of Experts on Gender and Social Inclusion (EGGSI), as an associate member of National Irish Spatial and Regional Analysis Centre, and as a member of both of Focus Ireland Research Advisory Committee and Think Tank for Action on Social Change (TASC). Mary also worked as a campaigner and policy analyst for 15 years in antipoverty, minimum income, labour market activation and gender equality. She graduated from Dublin City University with a PhD, Trinity College with a B.A. (Hons) and from the Dublin Institute of Technology with a Graduate Diploma in Business Studies, Training and Development.

The Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission’s paper was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. Emily Logan’s presentation is available to watch back here. Mary Murphy’s presentation is available to watch back here.

Session 7: Creating Opportunities in Retirement, Evidence from TILDA

Christine McGarrigle (TILDA) – “The Contribution of Older Adults to their Families and Communities

Christine McGarrigle joined The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing (TILDA) as a Social Epidemiology Research Fellow in 2012 and became Research Director in 2015 and leads on ensuring that TILDA is used to inform policy and practice with respect to population ageing in Ireland. TILDA is a nationally representative longitudinal study on ageing that collects information on all aspects of health, economic and social circumstances from people aged 50 and over in Ireland. Christine’s research is currently focused on intergenerational transfers, and the demographic, social and health factors associated with transfers between the generations.

Prior to joining TILDA, Christine worked at the Health Protection Agency in London where she was the lead scientist for behavioural surveillance. She coordinated a number of UK national surveillance and research programmes, which informed health promotion and disease control, including behavioural surveys of vulnerable populations, recruiting from both clinical and community settings using participatory research methods. She led research focused on developing novel methods of estimating undiagnosed HIV prevalence and incidence using behavioural surveillance data and regularly attended a number of WHO and UNAIDS working groups. She received her BSc in Chemistry from University College Dublin, and her MSc and PhD in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, University of London.

Christine McGarrigle’s delivery of her paper on “The Contribution of Older Adults to their Families and Communities” was accompanied by a slideshow presentation. Christine McGarrigle’s presentation to the Assembly can be watched back here.

Session 8: Creating Opportunities in Retirement, Perspectives from Civil Society

Ita Mangan (Age and Opportunity)

Ita Mangan is a Barrister who specialises in the areas of citizens’ rights and public enquiries. She has had a long involvement in issues relating to older people and has written, among other things, The Law and Older People published by the National Council on Aging and Older People and Older People in Long Stay Care published by the Irish Human Rights Commission.   In recent years she was the Chair of the Tax and Social Welfare Advisory Group.

She is currently the Chair of the Citizens Information Board and of Age and Opportunity and is a Board member of the Irish Hospice Foundation.

Ita Mangan’s delivery of her paper to the Assembly can be watched back here.

A number of Saturday’s speakers referred to the National Positive Ageing Strategy. Please click here to view further details about it.

Sunday’s Proceedings

The work programme for Sunday focused on reaching recommendations by ballot paper voting and comprised of several steps namely; agreeing on the issues to be included in a ballot; agreeing on the precise wording of the ballot or ballots; voting.

In advance, the Members had received a note on the voting arrangements that would apply at this weekend. The Members had also received a draft Ballot Paper prepared by the Chair and the Secretariat with the assistance of the Expert Advisory Group the week before the meeting.

In advance of Sunday, the Chair and Secretariat had encouraged the Members to submit any comments or observations on the draft ballot paper. This was to allow suggested changes to be made to the draft ballot paper in advance of Sunday’s deliberations in the interests of expediency, given the limited time available on the day.

Suggested changes were made by the Members and these were incorporated into a second draft ballot paper that was circulated on the Sunday morning. The revised draft ballot paper is available to view here. The Chair’s explanation of the revised draft ballot paper on the day is available to read here.

Further revisions were made by the Members on the draft circulated on Sunday morning following roundtable discussions. A copy of the final ballot paper the Members voted on is available here.

A detailed breakdown of the results of the ballot, as announced by the Chair, is available here.

A full transcript of Sunday’s proceedings can be read here.


Over the course of the weekend the citizens engaged in roundtable discussions, with the assistance of facilitators at each table. Further details on the facilitation process are available here.

Each table was provided with the same conversation starters for each session.

On Sunday, the Members completed a reflective exercise about what aspects of how the State can make Ireland a leader in tackling climate change they would like to see covered or make any additional related comments. A copy of the document they completed is available here.


A list of the Members at the second meeting on how we best respond to the challenges and opportunities of an ageing population is available here.

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