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Dublin: 4 °C Sunday 29 March, 2020

Referendum commission over extending voting rights abroad set up

Tánaiste Simon Coveney announced the measure today.

Image: Sam Boal via

A REFERENDUM COMMISSION has been set up to advise on the upcoming ballot on allowing Irish emigrants and people in the North to vote in presidential elections.

Tánaiste Simon Coveney announced the measure today ahead of a referendum on whether to extend voting rights to Irish citizens living outside of the state. 

Coveney made an order under the Referendum Act 1998 establishing an independent statutory Referendum Commission to explain the referendum and encourage people to vote in it. 

Justice David Barniville has been appointed as Chairperson of the commission alongside Comptroller and Auditor General Séamus McCarthy, ombudsman Peter Tyndall, clerk of the Dáil Peter Finnegan, clerk of the Seanad Martin Groves.

The government last week published a bill allowing people abroad to vote in presidential elections but the referendum is unlikely to place in November as planned.

The bill must first be passed by the Dáil and Seanad before a referendum can be held.

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