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Ógra Shinn Féin launch all Ireland election campaign

17 January, 2004

Ógra Shinn Féin today launched their campaign to see voting rights in this year‚s Presidential election extended to Irish citizens in the Six Counties. They are also asking people to support their campaign by signing their online petition at Speaking at the launch which took place at their National Congress in Dublin Ógra Shinn Féin spokesperson Eamon Conway said:

"Today at our National Congress more than 100 young people from across Ireland met to agree Ógra Shinn Féin‚s priorities for the coming year. One of our main campaigns will be to see voting rights for the 2004 Presidential election extended to Irish Citizens in the Six Counties.

"At present, we have a President who was born in Belfast; but the very people who grew up with her and still live in Belfast, could not vote for her. This must not be allowed to happen again.

"It is almost five years since the people of Ireland voted for the Good Friday Agreement, five years since the Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said that he would look at how people in the North could participate in national political life. But five years on the government has done nothing to bring this about. With the Presidential election due to take place this Autumn, the Government have an opportunity to do the right thing and we are going to work to make it happen.

"Over the next six months we will be bringing this campaign to every county in Ireland. We will be distributing thousands of leaflets and posters and asking people to sign out on-line petition, to lobby elected representatives, including the Taoiseach and to attend our public rallies.

"We are confidant that this campaign will be successful and that we will have the first election since 1918 where all Irish citizens on the island will be eligible to vote." ENDS

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