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Ógra Shinn Féin joins National Youth Council in calling for Voting @ 16

28 January, 2009 - by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD

On Tuesday 27th January, Ógra Shinn Féin joined the NYCI (National Youth Council of Ireland) outside Leinster house to demand that the voting age be lowered to 16. Sinn Féin TD Aengus O'Snodaigh was also in attendance to demonstrate his personal and party support for the initiative.

The 'New Age to Vote' campaign launch hopes to spark a debate on this issue among 16 and 17 year olds, with the aim of opening up discussion forums and campaign groups across Ireland that demand the voting age to be lowered, ensuring young people have a voice.

Speaking at the launch, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan said,

"Ógra Shinn Féin fully supports the lowering of the voting age to 16, we have passed it at successive Ógra and Sinn Féin Ard Fheiseanna, demanded it through successive youth election manifesto and we intend to step up the campaign in the time ahead to ensure that 16 and 17 year olds are afforded the right to vote."

"We aim to work with the NYCI and other progressive youth groups, sporting, community and political, to ensure a broad based successful campaign emerges and the voting age is lowered in advance of the upcoming local and European elections."

"Many 16 and 17 year olds are playing a vital role in society, through employment, studying, paying taxes and volunteering through community and charity groups, they are treated as adults in every other manner, with government quite willing and happy to accept their taxes yet will not afford them the basic democratic right to vote."

"Young people contribute more to community and volunteer groups than any other demographic group, and should be included in the democratic processes. A dynamic could be created by more participatory democracy through lowering the voting age, sparking new found interest and engagement in politics and decision making. This could open up new ideas, and challenge old bad practice, and banish once and for all the myth that young people are not interested in politics."

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