Opposition spokesman welcomes move to give Irish emigrants the vote

Senator Mark Daly asks if Northern Ireland residents will be included

By

JAMES  O’SHEA,
IrishCentral Staff Writer
Published Monday, December 31, 2012,  6:27 AM
Updated Monday, December 31, 2012, 7:31  AM
See  more:Irish news

Senator Mark Daly welcomes the announcement  that Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar favors extending the vote to Irish emigrants in general elections

Senator Mark Daly welcomes the  announcement  that Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar favors extending the vote to  Irish emigrants in general elections
Photo by Google Images

Senator Mark Daly, the Fianna Fail spokesman for the  Irish overseas and the Diaspora, has welcomed the announcement by Tourism  Minister Leo Varadkar, that he favors extending the vote to Irish emigrants in  general elections. “However it raises questions,” said Senator  Daly, “Is the minister only going to give votes in Dail elections to the Irish  overseas?

“What about those living in the Northern Ireland?  Will they be allowed to vote in Dail and Presidential elections? How many seats  in the Dail does the minister think should be allocated to the Irish living  outside the state?” Senator Daly, who is an alternate for the party  at the Constitutional Convention, will be supporting the extension of the right  to vote for all Irish citizens wherever they live.

He said, “The 46,500 Irish citizens who emigrated in  2012 should be allowed to vote along with all those other who hold Irish  citizenship. “If the minister is true to his word and ensure that  the franchise is extended we will not have the ridiculous situations where  former President Mary McAleese, whose allegiance to Ireland is unquestionable,  was denied the right to vote for so many years because she was born and lived in  Belfast.   “Ireland is in an economic deficit,  but we also  have a democratic deficit as well that we must address and extending the vote to  all those who are Irish citizens will be a step in the right direction.” Senator Daly has been carrying out research in this area.

Among his findings: He has found that  only four out of the 33 members in the Council of Europe do not afford their  citizens living abroad the right to participate in elections at home. These four  countries are Ireland, Malta, Cyprus, and Greece. He also stated  that over 115 of the 196 nations in the world have enfranchised their citizens  living abroad and many of the nations that deny the vote are either military  dictatorships or nations where elections are neither free nor fair. The record shows that for every two people born in Ireland one  emigrated. Compared to the domestic populations of 4.6 million in  the Republic, Ireland has the largest diaspora in the world relative to its  domestic populations standing at 70 million people of Irish heritage.

And by virtue of articles two and three of the  Constitution, anyone of the 1.8 million people born in the North of Ireland are  entitled to be Irish citizens

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