Secondly the Irish electorate are keenly interested in social and political issues to a far greater degree than the average Polish person.
Atch, can you imagine what the turn out would be in Poland for a referendum concerning abortion laws?
it's considered essential that people understand in depth the issue they're voting on and a lot of information, debate, deliberative assemblies and consultation with the public
Of course, I understand (and support) that.
that could potentially have an effect for the worse rather than the better.
I don't think so. It can't be that much worse than it already is. I even think that it could actually have a bit of a healing/calming effect on the society. Whatever the decision would be made (in the referendum), it would be our decision and we could blame only ourselves. And people would have a sense of that they can decide about issues that are important for them and maybe that would teach them responsibility.
And having agency - that feels good.
It's too late, Atch - you infected me with those referendums, I am lost already ;D 😎