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Sinn Féin and Greens call for lowering of voting age

The issue of the current voting age is set to be discussed at the first meeting of the Constitutional Convention in early December.

File photo
File photo
Image: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

BOTH SINN FEIN and the Green Party have called for the voting age to the lowered.

The calls come just days after the date of the first meeting of the Constitutional Convention was announced for early December, at which the issue is set to be discussed.

Senator Kathryn Reilly of Sinn Féin expressed her disappointment that the Constitutional Convention has no plans to consider lowering the age to 16 but says she still hopes that it will be successfully lowered to 17.

I am honoured too to be part of Sinn Féin’s team on the Constitutional Convention and will be pushing fully for full voting rights for 17-year-olds south of the border too. Sinn Féin is disappointed that the government has chosen not to mandate the Convention to look at voting rights for 16-year-olds.

The Green Party, however, still hope for the age to be lowered to 16 in the case of local and European elections.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan believes that a lowering will help young people to become more involved in politics.

For many years we have been calling for the voting age to be reduced. If want [sic] our young people to take politics seriously then we need to take their views seriously.
People learn about the voting system in the Junior School cycle so they are better prepared than anyone else for that decision. We look forward to the debate in the Convention where we will be calling for the rules to be changed so that young people can vote in the Local and European elections in 2014.

What do you think should happen to the voting age in Ireland?

Poll Results:

Lower it to 17 (412)
Keep it at 18 (363)
Lower it to 16 (310)
It should be higher (31)

Read: Argentina lowers its voting age to 16 >

Read: Youth lobby launches campaign seeking votes for 16-year-olds >

About the author:

Paul Hyland

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