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local elections 2019

'We care about Ireland...we want to be part of the future': how migrants are trying to encourage their communities to vote and run in next year's local elections

There are hundreds of thousands of migrants living in Ireland and their votes could make an impact on next year’s local elections.

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MAY NEXT YEAR will see location elections take place across the country, and some immigrants are hoping to get more of the migrant community involved.

Only 31 non-Irish candidates ran in the 2014 local elections, despite making up around 12% of the population – that is more than 500,000 people. 

Speaking at the launch of a video campaign by the Immigration Council of Ireland, aimed at urging migrants to register and vote – or even stand as candidates – some migrants said they want to have more of a say in their communities.

Sandra Ruiz Moriana, originally from Spain, has been living in Ireland for nine years and has two Irish daughters. She says migrants care about the future of Ireland.

By encouraging others to get involved, she hopes that this will change the way people in Ireland think about migrant people and that migrants aren’t just people who “come here to get money and go”.

Marius Marosan, originally from Romania, has decided to run for a position as councillor for his area.  

“Most of the immigrants come here to stay here,” he says. “So it’s only logical for them to get involved also in the political life.

I’m not running for only Romanians…I’m running for the local community…that includes Irish people and other nations.
Brian Killoran, CEO of the Immigrant Council of Ireland, says that the right to vote in a new land resonates with Irish people, because they also have a history of immigration.
“I think we need to remind ourselves of that,” he says. “That migration is a normal thing.
We’ve done it for centuries ourselves and it’s no different when people come here that we should treat them as we wanted to be treated when we went to other countries.

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