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Voting rights demand for all Ireland

5 October, 2011 - by Caitríona Ruane

Sinn Féin 'Voting Rights for Northern Citizens Campaign' co-ordinator Caitríona Ruane MLA has said it is now time to bring to an end the denial of voting rights in Presidential elections for the people of the North.

Ms Ruane was speaking prior to attending the Seanad debate along with colleague Willie Clarke MLA today for a Sinn Féin motion calling for the extension of voting rights in Presidential Elections to the North.

Caitríona Ruane stated:

“Mary McAleese has justly received high praise for the manner in which she has conducted the office of the Presidency and her mould-breaking efforts that in reaching out to every section of the Irish nation as opposed to the Irish state.

“It is ironic therefore, that those within the establishment who are now tripping over themselves in praise of Mary McAleese’s inclusive Presidency are the same people who have frustrated efforts to legislate for the extension of voting rights to Irish citizens in the North of Ireland and to the Irish diaspora worldwide.

“The Irish Government is committed through the Good Friday Agreement to provide equal treatment for the identity, ethos, and aspirations of both communities in the North of Ireland

“We had a pre-election commitment from Fine Gael that it would hold a referendum to extend voting rights for Presidential elections on an all-Ireland basis and for Irish citizens overseas. We welcomed this commitment and now call for it to be made a reality.

“I call on every candidate in the current race for President to state if their vision of inclusiveness includes affording all Irish citizens the right to fully participate in the democratic and civic life of the nation.”

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