Ó Donnghaile Leads Charge on Irish Voting Rights for Citizens in US
Sinn Féin Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile
What can an American citizen living in Ireland do that an Irish Citizen living in America cannot? Vote for their respective Presidents for one. The absurdity does not end at the Atlantic, Irish citizens living in the North of Ireland also cannot vote for the President of Ireland. Hopefully, all of that will change and all Irish citizens will soon enjoy the same rights as those in the South. It will require an amendment to the Irish Constitution to make that happen and a new survey has found majority support for the change.
The poll, which was undertaken by polling company Ireland Thinks, found 56% of respondents support Irish citizens in the North being able to vote in Presidential elections and a similar majority believe the same franchise should be extended to Irish citizens living abroad. The Irish government has now confirmed that they will press ahead with a referendum on the amendment.
Sinn Féin’s leader in the Seanad, Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile, welcomed the results and added, “There is clear and undeniable momentum towards extending voting rights and enhancing the democratic rights of Irish citizens. This is a very positive step and would strengthen and enrich our democratic processes.”
“Once it is safe to do so, the Government should make holding a referendum on this issue a priority. The bill is ready and there can be no reasonable cause for any further delay once it is confirmed that a referendum can be held safely.”