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A referendum to give Irish abroad a vote in presidential elections is planned for next year

The diaspora minister made the referendum announcement this week.

A REFERENDUM TO give Irish people living abroad a vote in the presidential election is planned for 2017, diaspora minister Joe McHugh announced this week.

The junior minister made the referendum announcement while on a visit to Kampala in Uganda earlier in the week.

It was first announced in the Irish Independent before McHugh confirmed it on his Twitter account:

As things currently stand, Irish people who have emigrated abroad are unable to vote in Dáil or presidential elections or in any referendum that takes place in Ireland.

The move was broadly welcomed across the political divide.

Speaking this morning on Newstalk Breakfast, Fianna Fáil diaspora spokesperson Senator Mark Daly said that the right to vote was the most “fundamental right of any citizen”.

“We must stop denying that right to so many millions of our citizens,” he said.

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams said that a referendum for the right to vote for people living outside of the State “must include people in the North”.

McHugh returned yesterday from Uganda after a three day visit, where he launched a new five year strategy for Ireland’s engagement with Uganda.

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Minister of State for International Development and the Diaspora Joe McHugh giving an emergency supply package to a newly arrived South Sudanese refugee at the Nyumanzi Refugee Transit centre in northern Uganda Minister Joe McHugh giving an emergency supply package to a newly arrived South Sudanese refugee at the Nyumanzi Refugee Transit centre in northern Uganda. Source: DFA

The minister also visited Uganda’s border region with South Sudan – which has seen an eruption of military violence and social unrest over the past number of days – where he announced €600,000 in new humanitarian assistance for South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.

TheJournal.ie has contacted the Department of Foreign Affairs for further information on the proposed referendum but no reposnse had been received at the time of publicaton.

Would you support a referendum to allow Irish people living abroad to vote in presidential elections?


Poll Results:

Yes (2316)
No (1653)
Don't know (134)



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Cormac Fitzgerald

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