Opinion Comment

Monday 1 May 2017

Diaspora want their voices heard - so why must they fall silent at the ballot box?

Police officers march in the annual St Patrick’s Day parade in New York. Ireland has been sending its citizens across the globe for centuries. Photo: Getty
Police officers march in the annual St Patrick’s Day parade in New York. Ireland has been sending its citizens across the globe for centuries. Photo: Getty

Theresa Reidy

Nearly all democracies across the world provide some form of voting rights to their citizens living abroad. Ireland is a bizarre anomaly in not granting this basic right to its citizens.

The situation is all the more odd when we reflect on the generations of Irish citizens who have emigrated. Ireland, more than so many nations, should be deeply sensitive to the emigrant experience.

US citizens living in Ireland were able to make their choice between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, but a reciprocal situation does not apply to Irish citizens living in the US (or anywhere else in the world) who would like to participate in Irish elections.

Please sign in or register with Independent.ie for free access to Opinions.

Sign In

Don't Miss