The Citizens' Assembly has recommended a ban on anonymous donations to political parties and campaign groups, weekend voting and lowering the voting age to 16.

When the Assembly was set up, it was charged with examining five issues and the manner in which referendums are held is the fourth issue.

The 99 members of the Assembly finalised the draft recommendations before they voted on the proposals this afternoon. 

A total of 11 questions appeared on the ballot and the recommendations were reached by majority vote.

Following the voting, the Assembly has supported a permanent Electoral Commission that would include the functions of the Referendum Commission.

The Assembly also favours the Commission giving its view on factual or legal disputes that arise during referendum campaigns.  

They do not want the Government to spend public money on one side of an argument but agree public money can be spent equally on both sides.

They also voted for a system of spending limits in referendum campaigns for political parties, campaign groups and individuals, and a ban on anonymous donations.

Among the measures on enhancing voter turnout that the Assembly agreed with are: allowing weekend voting; online voting, and the ability to vote at any polling station in the State.

They also favour lowering the voting age to 16 but rejected the idea of making voting compulsory.

The Chair of the Assembly Ms Justice Mary Laffoy said: "Throughout this weekend, we have considered the way in which referendums are held in Ireland from the historical position to the legal regulation of campaigns to voter turnout, super referendums, repeat referendums, citizens' initiatives and direct democracy. 

"We have made important recommendations in all of these areas.

"You have made your recommendations known through your vote on the ballot. I will now fulfil the next step of the terms of reference.

"I will aim to finalise the report and furnish it to the House of the Oireachtas as soon as possible," said Ms Justice Laffoy.