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Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile welcomes majority support for voting rights for Irish citizens in the north

1 March, 2021 - by Niall Ó Donnghaile

Sinn Féin’s Leader in the Seanad, Senator Niall Ó Donnghaile, has welcomed a poll revealing a majority of people support the extension of voting rights to Irish citizens living in the north.

The poll, which was undertaken by polling company Ireland Thinks, found 56% of respondents support Irish citizens in the north being able to vote in Presidential elections and 52% believe the same franchise should be extended to Irish citizens living abroad.

Speaking today, Senator Ó Donnghaile said:

“I welcome the results of this poll which shows a majority of people support Presidential voting rights being extended to Irish citizens living in the north.

“I also welcome the majority support for the extension of these rights to Irish citizens living overseas.

“There is clear and undeniable momentum towards extending voting rights and enhancing the democratic rights of Irish citizens. This is a very positive step and would strengthen and enrich our democratic processes.

“Once it is safe to do so, the Government should make holding a referendum on this issue a priority. The Bill is ready and there can be no reasonable cause for delay once it is confirmed that a referendum can be held safely.

“We should work all work to have an informed and engaged conversation with people across Ireland about the current state of voting rights and how they can be extended and reformed for the better.

“Earlier today I took part in the Citizenship, Emigrants and Voting Rights Post-Brexit Conference organised by the Voting Rights campaign group and UCD Clinton Institute. I want to thank them for the opportunity to advance these important discussions.

“I look forward to engaging in the ongoing discussion about how extending this franchise can enrich citizens’ rights and strengthen our democracy.”

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