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The Hon Ms Justice Mary Finlay Geoghegan is to chair the Referendum Commission, in accordance with the Referendum Act 1998 for the purposes of the forthcoming referendum on the Thirty-First Amendment of the Constitution (Children) Bill 2012. 

Seamus McCarthy, Comptroller and Auditor General; Emily O’Reilly, Ombudsman; Kieran Coughlan, Clerk of the Dáil; and Deirdre Lane, Clerk of the Seanad will act as members of the Commission.

The functions of the Commission will be to explain the subject matter and prepare and publish a statement in this regard for the public. They will also be required to raise awareness of the referendum and encourage the electorate to vote.

The Commission must also consider and rule on applications from bodies or groups for declaration as approved bodies who may appoint agents at the referendum to be present at polling stations and at the counting of votes.