Sinn Féin Dublin MEP Lynn Boylan has accused the Taoiseach of paying lip service to the diaspora as he tells young emigrants that the decision on granting an overseas vote in Presidential elections is an issue for the next government.
Commenting this morning on the issue Ms Boylan said:
“The Taoiseach is once again sidestepping this issue and is putting off making a decision on what is the cornerstone of democracy, ensuring voting rights for Irish citizens.
This government has been urged to deal with this issue on numerous occasions. I myself addressed the European Affairs Dail Committee in the spring, when it held a series of hearings in response to European Commission criticism of Ireland for not providing for voting rights for its citizens living in other Member States in national elections.
I urged the public representatives present to strongly press the government on this matter.
The Convention on the Constitution also voted in favour of recommending the extension of voting rights in Presidential elections for Irish citizens who are resident outside of the State, including Irish citizens resident in North.
Sinn Féin firmly believe in the core republican principle of equal citizenship and it is important to note that Article 2 of the Constitution asserts the right of Irish citizens, be they at home or abroad, to play an active role in their own country.
The disenfranchisement rules which guide the current situation are outdated in today’s interconnected world.
The Taoiseach can no longer ignore this matter and needs to stop shirking his responsibility to the thousands of Irish citizens outside the state.”