Friday 30 September 2016

Taoiseach signals plans to extend voting rights to Irish emigrants

Niall O'Connor, political correspondent in Manchester

Published 17/06/2016 | 11:15

Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday suspended his campaign to encourage the estimated 60,000 Irish people living in the UK to vote in the referendum following the news of Cox’s death. Peter Byrne/PA Wire
Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday suspended his campaign to encourage the estimated 60,000 Irish people living in the UK to vote in the referendum following the news of Cox’s death. Peter Byrne/PA Wire

TAOISEACH Enda Kenny has signalled plans by the Government to extend extend voting rights to Irish emigrants.

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Mr Kenny said he has asked the new Diaspora Minister Joe McHugh to prioritise allowing Irish living abroad to vote in Presidential elections.

“This is an issue that has been around for a very long time but there have been quite sophisticated advances made in terms of voting from abroad and we need to set out a terms of reference as to the conditions that would apply in terms of who should be eligible to vote," Mr Kenny said.

Speaking at an event in the Irish World Heritage Centre in Manchester today, Mr Kenny again offered his condolences to the family of murdered MP Jo Cox.

He said he will once again refrain from campaigning as a mark of respect to the Cox family. He said the practice is being adopted by both the 'Leave' and 'Remain' camps.

“It’s appropriate to pay tribute to the life and times of Jo Cox who was murdered on the street in West Yorkshire, a mother of two young children going about her business as any councillor or MP or public representative would do and to be shot down and taken away from her family and children is an appalling crime,” Mr Kenny said.

Mr Kenny is due to travel to Glasgow for the British Irish Council (BIC).

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