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Dublin: 10 °C Saturday 7 December, 2019

Taoiseach asks employers to be 'flexible' on Friday so staff can get home to vote

Varadkar said some people have to make long journeys home to vote.

Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris out canvassing for a Yes vote.
Leo Varadkar and Simon Harris out canvassing for a Yes vote.
Image: Sam Boal

TAOISEACH LEO VARADKAR has urged employers to be flexible with their staff on Friday in order to allow people to get home to vote.

He said many voters will have to make long journeys back to their hometown to vote, and urged employers to give workers enough time to ensure they can exercise their right to vote.

During Leaders’ Questions, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said over 125,000 people have registered on the supplementary register, adding that many of them are young people.

He said many students have to make their way home to vote, which can be challenge.

“I ask the Taoiseach to join with me in asking employers to be flexible… It is good for our democracy,” he said.

Leo Varadkar said he wanted to echo his comments, adding that Martin made a very good suggestion in appealing to employers to facilitate staff who want to participate in the referendum.

“I hope there will be a big turnout. In the referendum in 1983, only 55% of people voted. I hope more people will take part in the upcoming referendum, an important exercise in democracy. I very much appeal to employers to allow their staff to make it to the polling stations on Friday,” he said.

He said the polls are open at 7am and close at 10pm in order to maximise participation by the public.

I was knocking on doors in Clonsilla in my constituency last night and met somebody from Westmeath who will be going home to vote. It does not take a long time to get from Blanchardstown to Westmeath but there are people who will be travelling to west Cork, Donegal and other places.
These are very long journeys and I hope employers will offer some flexibility to people in that regard, no matter how they decide to vote.

In the last Leaders’ Questions in which the Taoiseach has the opportunity to speak about the referendum, he thanked Micheál Martin, Mary Lou McDonald, Brendan Howlin and the other party leaders for their support for this referendum proposition.


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