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Senator Kathryn Reilly welcomes Constitutional Convention report call for reduction in voting age

26 March, 2013

The youngest member of the Oireachtas, Cavan senator, Kathryn Reilly, has welcomed the publication today of the Constitutional Convention report on the reduction of the voting age. According to the report 52% of convention members want the voting age reduced and 48% wanted it reduced to 16.

Senator Reilly was at the Convention meeting that discussed the issue of the voting age and voted for reducing it to 16.

Senator Reilly said: “Sinn Féin has long advocated the lowering of the voting age. We live in a highly globalised, politicised world where young people are connected to the world through various social media platforms. Any argument that young people are too apathetic or incompetent to engage in the electoral process is redundant.

“Young people are knowledgeable and passionate about the world in which they live and are as capable of engaging in the democratic system as any other citizen.

“I was honoured to have been able to participate in the Constitutional Convention deliberations on this issue and strongly advocated reducing the age to 16.

“The government now has four months to respond. I am hopeful that before the adjournment of the Oireachtas in July we will see a positive response from Government on its intentions to hold a referendum to reduce the voting age to 16.

“How government responds will send out a very clear signal on its intentions with respect to the reform of the constitution. While the initial proposal was reducing the voting age to 17, I hope the government listens to the outcome of the Convention and act accordingly.” ends

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