Presidential vote referendum welcomed by Donegal minister

Plans to allow all Irish Citizens to vote in Irish Presidential elections

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Presidential vote referendum welcomed by Donegal minister

Minister McHugh pictured with Taoiseach Enda Kenny in Philadelphia and Congressman Brendan Boyle and his brother State Rep Kevin Boyle, sons of Glencolmcille man Frank Boyle.

A referendum to allow all Irish Citizens, including people in the North, to vote in Irish Presidential elections has been welcomed.

Donegal TD and diaspora minister Joe McHugh welcomed the government plan.

Minister McHugh was in Philadelphia on Sunday when Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced plans for a referendum.

The government's decision is in line with the recommendations of the Convention on the Constitution, in their Fifth Report.

“This announcement is a historic recognition of the strong and enduring links between Ireland and all our citizens, wherever they are in the world,”  Minister McHugh said.

“I welcome this initiative which is an important one for the Irish Diaspora around the world and for Irish citizens living in Northern Ireland.

“A key theme that emerged from submissions received during the development of Ireland's Diaspora Policy was the importance of the issue of voting rights to many Irish citizens abroad.

“Many members of the diaspora felt it would allow them to deepen their engagement with Ireland and to play a more active role in Irish society.”

Speaking at the Irish Memorial in Philadelphia today, the Taoiseach said: "Today's announcement is a profound recognition of the importance that Ireland attaches to all of our citizens, wherever they may be.

“It is an opportunity for us to make our country stronger by allowing all of our citizens resident outside the State, including our emigrants, to vote in future presidential elections.

“I am especially pleased to be making this announcement as we prepare for our worldwide celebration of St. Patrick's Day and of all that is Irish."