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Dublin City Council unanimously supports Six-County Presidential voting rights

2 December, 2003

Sinn Féin Councillor Larry O'Toole has welcomed the unanimous support on Dublin City Council for his motion calling for Presidential voting rights for Six Counties residents. This follows the passing of a motion by Newry and Mourne District Council, earlier this year, asking Councils throughout the island to support the extension of the franchise.

Speaking last night Cllr. O'Toole said:

"Following our successful Assembly election campaign Sinn Féin will continue to push for the full implementation of the Agreement. This will include getting An Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to fulfill his commitments regarding all Ireland representation.

"After the Good Friday Agreement, Mr Ahern instructed the All Party Committee on the Oireachtas and the Constitution to consider how the people of the Six Counties might play a "more active part in national political life".

"The Committee recognised in their recommendations that the most obvious, immediately inclusive area, would be in extending voting rights in Presidential Elections to all Irish Citizens living on the island of Ireland, in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Good Friday Agreement as contained inthe amended Article 2 of the 1937 Constitution.

"It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born on the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. By passing this motion unanimously tonight, Dublin City Council has supported this most basic right. Now Sinn Féin is urging the government to fulfill its promise and support this right also."ENDS

Motion passed

That this City Council urges the Taoiseach and the Irish Government to recognise the exclusion of Irish Citizens resident in the six counties from exercising their right to participate in Presidential Elections and calls on the government to bring forward the necessary legislation to allow them to vote in elections for the Office of President of Ireland

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