The Marriage Equality Referendum and Its Aftermath

The Votes for Irish Citizens Abroad campaign (VICA) very much welcomes the

result of the marriage equality referendum result last week. We note that many Irish

citizens abroad went to great effort to ‘get home to vote’. They did so because they

remain significant stakeholders in Irish society. In getting home to vote they were

representing many other citizens abroad who either could not get back or (the greater

number) have been out of Ireland for more than 18 months and are no longer on the

electoral register. These Irish citizens abroad are completely disenfranchised. The

thousands who did get back to Ireland also demonstrated how important the right to

vote in a referendum is for them. It is only possible to vote in referendums if you have

the right to vote in general elections. Many people would like a vote for Irish citizens

abroad for the Presidency, as does VICA. Others would like representation through

the Seanad. However, the only long-term, effective way of citizens abroad being able

to participate in the decision-making processes in Ireland is to have the right to vote

for the Dàil. VICA will continue to campaign strongly to end the disenfranchisement

of Irish citizens abroad

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