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Voting rights could be extended to Irish abroad, says Gilmore

However, the Tánaiste says that the extension is currently only being considered for presidential elections.

Image: AP Photo/Peter Morrison/PA Images

THE TÁNAISTE has said the government is considering extending the right to vote in presidential elections to Irish citizens abroad.

Speaking on a special online broadcast of RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Eamon Gilmore said that one consideration in such a move is that the number of people belonging to the Irish diaspora are significantly higher than the number living inside the country.

Not all of the 70 million people belonging to the Irish diaspora would have passports, he conceded, but you have to decide who qualifies to vote.

Another issue is the fact that Ireland doesn’t have an embassy in every country, raising questions about how the voting process would be carried out.

“To what extent do you have representation without taxation, that is a big issue,” he said, but added that it is important to consider how to find “some way of giving recognition to the Irish abroad and in particular to recent emigrants”.

He said that the issue of extending voting rights will be discussed at the Constitutional Convention which the government and the opposition are in discussions about holding.

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Also speaking to the programme, Noreen Bowden of GlobalIrish suggested that people don’t have to vote in the last constituency they had lived in Ireland, but instead there could be more regional constituencies for voters in North America, Europe or Australia.

Should Irish citizens abroad be able to vote in presidential elections?


Poll Results:

Yes (352)
No (161)
I don't know (11)



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