Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on the Irish Overseas and Diaspora Senator Mark Daly has expressed his extreme disappointment at the fact that voting rights for the Irish overseas was not addressed in the Government’s latest reform proposals.
He commented: “It is extremely disappointing that voting rights have not been addressed by the Government in their latest Seanad Reform proposals. A reformed Seanad would be the perfect avenue for Irish citizens living outside the state to have a voice in Leinster House.
“By omitting to address this issue in the new reform proposals, we are continuing to disenfranchise people who by virtue of article 2 and 3 of our constitution are either Irish citizens or are entitled to be Irish citizens.
“Since 2009 almost 400,000 people have emigrated from Ireland and they deserve a voice in Leinster House. This was a perfect opportunity for the Government to recognise it and make provisions for the diaspora’s voting rights in the new set of reform measures. However, the Government has once again failed to follow through on their promise of a “democratic revolution”.
“It has nearly been 12 months since the Constitutional Convention recommended extending the franchise to Irish Passport holders overseas in a presidential election but unfortunately there has been no movement on this either.
“Fianna Fáil has welcomed the appointment of Minister Jimmy Deenihan and I hope he will now focus on this issue as a matter of urgency.”