Participation of Irish abroad essential in campaign to secure voting rights - Mary Lou McDonald TD
Sinn Féin president Mary Lou McDonald has appealed to the Irish abroad to play a full part in the campaign to secure presidential voting rights.
McDonald was speaking tonight in Toronto in advance of the presidential inauguration at which Pearse Doherty and Conor Murphy will represent Sinn Féin.
Teachta McDonald said:
"Tomorrow we will see the inauguration of our President, Micheal D Higgins. I wish him well and believe that he will represent Ireland with skill, intellect and honour.
"The presidency is unlike any other elected position. The President represents all of the nation. Not a single constituency or state, but all of the nation, at home and aboard.
"It is essential that all Irish Citizens, including the many in this room have the right to vote for their President.
"There will be an opportunity to secure this right next year.
"The Taoiseach has put on record the intention of the Irish government to hold a referendum in May next year to extend presidential voting rights to Irish citizens in the north and across the globe.
"Over the past number of years, the diaspora has been central to securing constitutional change. Central to securing marriage equality and repealing the eighth amendment.
"In the coming referendum the Irish abroad, and their friends and family at home, can secure their right to play a full part in Irish Political life and elect a President for the whole nation.
"Let’s do everything we can to make sure that referendum is passed."