The Citizens' Assembly has received more than 13,000 submissions on Ireland's constitutional restrictions on abortion.

This is more than five times the number received by its predecessor, the Constitutional Convention, which recommended a referendum be held on same sex marriage and debated nine other topics.

In a statement, the Assembly says that in the nine weeks between mid-October and last week, 8,000 submissions were relayed to it online while over 5,000 were sent by post.

The closing date for receipt of submissions on the Eighth Amendment to the Constitution from individuals and organisations was last Friday, 16 December.

The statement added that all the submissions will be published on the Assembly website in chronological order and on a rolling basis.

Approximately 380 have been uploaded already. Each submission is being categorised by the sender's personal or organisational name.

However in the case of what the statement terms "personal stories or sensitive submissions", personal data and related identifiable details have been removed on request.

The statement reiterates that, in accordance the body's agreed rules and procedures, and to assist in its deliberations, the Assembly may choose to hear oral presentations from any representative group which - or individual who - has made a submission.   

The Assembly's Chair, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, said she and the secretariat to the 100 member body is encouraged by the number of submissions received.

She thanked everyone who made one and expressed her deep appreciation for their engagement with this process.

Justice Laffoy added that the submissions have an important role in the ongoing development of the body's work programme and that the range of the opinions and insights in the submissions is testament to the complexity of the topic.

She concluded by saying the Assembly truly values the effort that everyone has made and emphasized that she, in conjunction with the Assembly's secretariat, will be reading each one of the submissions in advance of their publication on the website.

The Assembly's second weekend-long meeting to consider the Eighth Amendment is scheduled to take place on 7 and 8 January in Malahide, Co Dublin.

It held its inaugural meeting on the 15 October in Dublin Castle and held the first of four planned meetings to discuss the Eighth Amendment in Malahide on Saturday and Sunday, 26-27 November.

All presentations made to the Assembly are available on the Assembly website.

The Assembly has been established by the Dáil and Seanad to advise the legislature by next June on restrictions on abortion and after that on four other issues.

Today's statement emphasizes that submissions on the Assembly's remaining topics will be accepted in due course.

The Assembly is made up of the Chairperson, Ms Justice Mary Laffoy, and 99 other citizens randomly selected by a polling company to be broadly representative of the Irish electorate, with a mandate to look at several key issues.