Has the constitutional Convention been stacked with "ordinary citizens", some of whom in reality have political affiliations or could actually be considered politicians themselves having run in local elections?
The member list of the CC (66 "randomly" selected "ordinary citizens" and 33 politicians) is posted here: https://www.constitution.ie/Documents/ListOfMembers.pdf
Consider the backgrounds of the following "ordinary citizen" members:
Lydia Peppard, Meath: A woman of the same name ran for election as a Labour candidate to Trim Town Council. She got 2.65% and was eliminated. ElectionsIreland.org: 2004 Town Council - Trim First Preference Votes
She is listed as being elected "Equality officer" of the Meath Labour party in a 2002 article. Father and son appointed Labour - Independent.ie
She and a neighbour also selected were subject of an Irish Independent article in February raising questions about the transparency of the selection process. Concern as couple and set of neighbours are 'randomly selected' for constitutional body - Independent.ie
Ray Howes, Wicklow: A person of the same name ran for Labour in the Wicklow local elections in 2009. He later joined Sinn Fein. "RECENT LOCAL election candidate for Labour in Wicklow town, Ray Howes, has left the Labour Party to join the ranks of Sinn Féin."
Howes joins Sinn Fein after leaving Labour - Independent.ie
Luke Boyle, Kilkenny. A person of the same name is described in a 2005 article as "a former Labour Party councillor on Kilkenny Corporation." Midlands 103 FM Radio - Podcasts Live Radio Podcast Ireland Radio Station Programmes Midlands 103 FM Podcast Audio Playback - Radio Station Ireland
Richard Codd, Wicklow: A person of the same name is described as "Constituency Chairman" of the "Wicklow Constituency Fine Gael Party" in a January 2013 submission to the local electoral boundary committee. http://www.boundarycommittee.ie/Subm...%20Wicklow.pdf
Is it really credible that these people were "randomly selected"?
There are also other examples but I'm unwilling to post these as there is greater uncertainty due to the names being relatively common and living in large population areas such as Dublin.
It is incumbent on Chairperson Tom Arnold and others leading the Constitutional Convention to demonstrate absolute transparency about the member selection process lest public confidence in the Convention and their recommendations be undermined.