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Over a hundred in Mosney direct provision centre register to vote in upcoming local elections

Registration drives have taken place in Dublin, Cork and Meath recently.

Mosney Direct Provision centre, Co Meath
Mosney Direct Provision centre, Co Meath
Image: Asylum Archive

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE living in two direct provision centres have registered to vote in the upcoming local elections.

Migrants living in direct provision centres in Mosney, Co Meath and Clondalkin Towers, Co Dublin have been signed up to vote following a recent registration drive. 

“You’re dealing with communities that are incredibly isolated, communities with little recourse,” Sean McCabe, a candidate for Cabra/Glasnevin in the upcoming local elections, has said. 

Over three days in Mosney and Clondalkin, McCabe and a number of residents of the centre went door-to-door, he says, registering people to vote. 

“We did our very best to reach people who weren’t in at the time,” McCabe has said. “It was met with great support.”

Many of the people we met had been living in Direct Provision for several years – they were very happy to learn they had a voice in the local elections.

“Sometime we can take our own democracy for granted. There’s a democratic deficit in some of the countries people are coming from.”

Non-EU citizens can only vote in local elections in Ireland. EU citizens can register in both the locals and European elections, both of which will be held on 24 May. 

Similar registration drives have taken place in Cork recently.

Stephen Murphy, a social inclusion worker at Cork Council Centre, says that over 300 people have registered to vote since registration drives were launched.

For many people, there was a lack of awareness of their eligibility to vote. “Not only people coming to Ireland but also their Irish colleagues,” Murphy has said. 

As part of the Shape Your City campaign, developed by local businesses and communities, Murphy has spearheaded 15 events to register people to vote. The only requirement is that people have resided in Ireland for six months. 

McCabe has said that the reaction to registration drives in Mosney and Clondalkin was largely positive, that it has raised awareness of those eligible to vote in the upcoming elections. 

“If you have all the local candidates and councillors canvassing Mosney and Clondalkin, then you have something transformational.”

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