Plain Language Statement

The COVID-19 Irish Citizens’ Online Forum is enabling an online large-scale nation-wide deliberative debate in Ireland between policymakers, government, experts and citizens predominantly for the purpose of identifying possible future steps to be taken during and after the COVID-19 crisis. The combined comments and input provided by citizens on this Forum will be analysed and the results fully anonymised will be shared with policy makers to enable them understand the problems that have occurred during this period of crisis and design more effective policies to tackle them.

This research is undertaken under the project the COVID-19 Online Irish Citizens’ Forum and it is funded by SFI, grant agreement 20/COV/0217.


Participants will be asked to discuss their views on COVID-19 related topics using the Choosing our Future platform. In order to be provided with access to the platform you need to register with a valid email address. However, you may comment using your first name (i.e. an alias). Participants must abide by the rules of online discussion as described in the ‘Code of Conduct’ and assume full responsibility with regards to their implementation. The Principal Investigator, Researchers of this project and DCU assume no responsibility and have no liability for any breach of this Code by participants and any consequences which that may entail to participants at any level. Participants are fully responsible for their participation in this online forum and assume full responsibility for their actions.

Personal Data

All data will be anonymised and comply with the requirements of GDPR. Please do not post any personal or medical data on the forum. The raw data gathered in the study will be controlled by ADAPT research centre, DCU. If you are concerned about your data, or wish to exercise any rights related to your data such as please contact the DCU Data Protection Officer: Mr. Martin Ward ( 01 7008257).

Data Confidentiality

Please be aware that the confidentiality of information provided cannot always be guaranteed and can only be protected within the limitations of the law - i.e., it is possible for data to be subject to subpoena, freedom of information claim or mandated reporting by some professions.

Data Destruction

All data will be anonymised and in line with best practice open science obligations around COVID may be made available on a public dataverse.

Voluntary Participation

Your participation is entirely voluntary. Should you wish to withdraw you may do so at any time.

Risks and Benefits

There are some risks associated with your participation in this study as you will be able to interact with people that you don’t know and all discussions will be accessible to the public. The benefits of participating include: ability to interact with other Irish citizens regarding important topics of our post covid future; potential to enrich your knowledge on the aforementioned topics by interacting with experts; and the potential to influence policies related to COVID-19.


This project has received funding from Science Foundation Ireland.

If participants have concerns about this study and wish to contact an independent person, please contact:

The Secretary,
Dublin City University Research Ethics Committee,
c/o Research and Innovation Support,
Dublin City University,
Dublin 9.

Tel 01-7008000, Email

Informed Consent Form

I have read the Plain Language Statement and the Code of Conduct (in the Terms of Service) and I confirm that I will comply with both of them