Taoiseach Micheál Martin has announced the appointment of UCD academic Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin and former Dublin football manager Jim Gavin as the respective Chairs of the upcoming Citizens' Assemblies on Biodiversity Loss and a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin.

Dr Ní Shúilleabháin and Mr Gavin will oversee the work of the two Assemblies that are due to begin with an introductory meeting in Dublin Castle on Saturday 9 April.

Mr Martin said: "The topics of Biodiversity Loss and a Directly Elected Mayor for Dublin are two important issues that impact people and communities throughout Ireland.

"These are challenging subjects, but we are fortunate to have two expert Chairs who will bring particular knowledge, expertise and passion to these topics."

As Chair of the Biodiversity Citizens' Assembly Dr Ní Shúilleabháin will help the Assembly make recommendations on how the State should respond to the crisis of biodiversity loss.

Dr Ní Shúilleabháin, an Assistant Professor in UCD's School of Mathematics and Statistics, said: "Biodiversity loss, its causes, and what we can do to address it is one of the most important and defining issues of our time.

"I look forward to starting work with the members of the Assembly and identifying what practical solutions we can find to this challenge."

In chairing the Dublin Assembly, Mr Gavin, who is the Director of People and Operations for the Irish Aviation Authority, will bring his "passion for the city and county to the work of creating a new vision for how Dublin is managed and administered that befits a modern, dynamic, and diverse European capital."

Mr Gavin said: "This is a great city and county, renowned across the world for its history, its culture, its dynamism and most importantly its people.

"I want to work with the members of the Assembly towards creating a vision for how the city and county should be managed and governed to make it an even better place to live, work, raise a family and to visit and enjoy."

Some 34,000 invitations were issued to randomly selected households around the country to participate in the two upcoming Assemblies.

By the closing date of 14 March, over 3,700 responses were received.

Following a further random selection of citizens who applied, the Assembly said it is now representative of Irish society, based on gender, age and location.

Letters of confirmation are being sent to 99 Irish citizens, 67 citizens of Dublin and 12 councillors ahead of the 9 April meeting.

Both Assemblies are due to complete their work by the end of the year.