Presidential Voting Rights Referendum needs detailed investigation

Fianna Fáil Seanad Spokesperson on the Irish Diaspora has welcomed the start of a conversation on providing voting rights in Irish Presidential elections to Irish citizens living overseas.

Senator Daly was commenting after the Taoiseach announced that a referendum on the matter would take place in the coming years.

“Fianna Fáil was the first party to appoint a spokesperson on the Irish diaspora, and developed the first position paper on how we engage those citizens into the future.

“Last year, our manifesto called for Presidential voting rights for Irish citizens living overseas, and the Taoiseach’s announcement is a welcome development.

“What needs to now happen is have a detailed conversation the criteria that would be used to determine eligibility to vote.

“In 2012, Fine Gael went bull-headed into a referendum on abolishing the Seanad, without detailed discussions on its merits or alternatives. They subsequently lost that referendum because they failed to find consensus on the matter.

“This cannot be allowed to happen with this initiative. Time must be taken to properly look into the various options available; compare and contrast with other countries that allow diaspora voting, and determine the exact criteria to be used.

“This all must happen well in advance of a referendum so that the campaign can be fought in a rational way,” concluded Daly.

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