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Government refuse postal votes to those on holidays or studying abroad

Leas-Cheann Comhairleach Pat 'the cope' Gallagher says that thousands are denied their rights

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Government refuse postal votes to those on holidays or studying abroad

A vote on the Repeal of the Eighth Amendment will be held next month.

The Leas-Cheann Comhairle has condemned the Government for failing to extend the right of postal voting to those who are not in the country on the day of the referendum. 

Dungloe-based Pat 'the cope' Gallagher said that those who are on holidays, pilgrimage and students studying in UK based colleges will not be able to vote.

Deputy Gallagher said that the anomaly will also affect citizens ordinarily resident in Ireland but working for foreign based countries who maybe abroad on polling day, whereas if the company was Irish based they would be eligible for a postal vote.

The matter was raised in the Dáil by numerous Deputies in the course of this week’s debates but, the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government refused to make any of the necessary changes.

The inaction of the Government will result in thousands of voters being denied their right to cast their vote on the 25th of May referendum.

Deputy Gallagher said: "This is extremely disappointing news and demonstrates a total lack of understanding from both the Minister and Government – the regulations governing postal voting are long overdue a full review in order to meet the needs of a changing society." 

Pat the Cope said we are one of very few countries in Europe that does not extend the right of voting to those on holidays at the time of polling, and this is incredible in this day and age that we as a country cannot extend a voting right to them.

He added that other countries allow for early voting – whereby you can vote weeks in advance if it is the case you will be abroad on polling day, while other countries simply extend a postal vote right to you if you are abroad on holidays on the day of the election or referendum. 

Pat the Cope said: "This is a Government that is all spin and no substance, a Government that talks about change but changes nothing and a Government that simply does not understand ordinary day living and the changes in lifestyles that exist in our country”