Senator Malcolm Byrne will again raise the issue of reducing the voting age to 16 on the Seanad floor this morning.  

The Senator will be asking the Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government: 

  • for a progress report on the Programme for Government commitment to examine the Scottish experience of reducing the voting age 
  • an update on the Constitutional Convention recommendation to reduce the voting age  
  • the Government’s position on reducing the voting age to 16 for the local and European elections in 2024 
The short debate is due at about 11.30am.

Senator Byrne, who has campaigned for over a decade and a half on the question, has a Bill before the Seanad to reduce the voting age to 16 for the 2024 elections.  

Senator Byrne said, “Young people are making a significant contribution to Irish society. We need to support ways to allow them to meaningfully participate in civic life. Votes at 16 is a key element of that.” 

He added, “Austria has permitted those aged 16 and above to vote for almost two decades and Belgium recently also moved to reduce the voting age. Recent elections to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd saw 16 and 17 year olds vote.”