VICA is a London-based group campaigning for Irish citizens living abroad to be able to vote in elections and referendums in Ireland. Formed in 2011 we include first and second generation Irish citizens abroad.
For a country with such a significant history of emigration, it is odd that Ireland is in a small minority of countries that denies its citizens their ability to exercise political rights once they are no longer resident.
Irish people do not leave their citizenship behind when they board a plane to London, New York or Sydney. We live in a connected world and Irish emigrants maintain strong economic, political and emotional ties to home, and many hope to return to Ireland one day. Irish citizens living abroad, especially recent emigrants, have a stake in the future of Ireland.
Political participation is an inherent aspect of citizenship. Citizens abroad should not be excluded from decision-making, or from being represented, while they’re living outside the State.
For VICA, the upcoming referendum in October 2019 about the right of Irish citizens living outside the State to vote in Presidential elections is an important step towards achieving full political rights for Irish citizens abroad.