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    Minister Martin: Recommendations for emigrant votes for presidential elections mandated

    By Noreen Bowden | January 28, 2010

    Finian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)
    Question 676: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will support the campaign on votes for Irish emigrants in view of the fact that 115 countries already support this view; and if he will use this initiative to support the economy here. [1614/10]
    Micheál Martin (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
    My colleague, the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government has primary responsibility for the various legislative codes dealing with the registration of electors and the conduct of elections and referendums. Policy regarding votes for non residents is dealt with by the Franchise section of that Department.
    The question of voting rights for Irish citizens living abroad was most recently considered in 2002, by the All-Party Committee on the Constitution . In relation to emigrant participation in political life, the Committee concluded that the right to vote in Oireachtas elections should remain confined to citizens ordinarily resident in the State.
    However the renewed Programme for Government, agreed in October 2009, mandates that recommendations should be made on the feasibility of extending the franchise for Presidential Elections to the Irish abroad. It will be the responsibility of the Department of Environment to progress this issue.
    The Government attaches a high priority to the interests of Irish emigrants. Under my Department’s Emigrant Support Programme, over €60M has been allocated to Irish welfare, culture and heritage organisations abroad over the past five years. A further €12.M has been allocated to the Programme for 2010, which will allow us to continue to maintain and strengthen links with Irish communities abroad.

    The issue of votes for emigrants arose in the Dail in a written question asked by Independent TD Finian McGrath earlier this month. Here is the exchange with Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin.

    Finian McGrath (Dublin North Central, Independent)

    Question 676: To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs if he will support the campaign on votes for Irish emigrants in view of the fact that 115 countries already support this view; and if he will use this initiative to support the economy here. [1614/10]

    Micheál Martin (Minister, Department of Foreign Affairs; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)

    My colleague, the Minister for Environment, Heritage and Local Government has primary responsibility for the various legislative codes dealing with the registration of electors and the conduct of elections and referendums. Policy regarding votes for non residents is dealt with by the Franchise section of that Department.

    The question of voting rights for Irish citizens living abroad was most recently considered in 2002, by the All-Party Committee on the Constitution. In relation to emigrant participation in political life, the Committee concluded that the right to vote in Oireachtas elections should remain confined to citizens ordinarily resident in the State.

    However the renewed Programme for Government, agreed in October 2009, mandates that recommendations should be made on the feasibility of extending the franchise for Presidential Elections to the Irish abroad. It will be the responsibility of the Department of Environment to progress this issue.

    The Government attaches a high priority to the interests of Irish emigrants. Under my Department’s Emigrant Support Programme, over €60M has been allocated to Irish welfare, culture and heritage organisations abroad over the past five years. A further €12.M has been allocated to the Programme for 2010, which will allow us to continue to maintain and strengthen links with Irish communities abroad.

    Source:

    KildareStreet.com: Election Management System: 19 Jan 2010

    Topics: Latest News | 3 Comments »

    3 Responses to “Minister Martin: Recommendations for emigrant votes for presidential elections mandated”

    1. Tracking the emigrant voting issue | globalirish.ie – about Irish emigration and the diaspora Says:
      January 29th, 2010 at 1:31 am

      […] Minister Martin: Recommendations for emigrant votes for presidential elections mandated […]

    2. Tracking the emigrant voting issue | globalirish.ie – about Irish emigration and the diaspora Says:
      March 4th, 2010 at 7:22 pm

      […] GlobalIrish.ie: Minister Martin: Recommendations for emigrant votes for presidential elections manda… […]

    3. Is the government forgetting its promise on presidential voting rights for emigrants? | globalirish.ie – about Irish emigration and the diaspora Says:
      October 14th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

      […] the Taoiseach’s response to the statement by Minister for Foreign Affairs Micheal Martin in January, in response to a written question: However the renewed Programme for Government, agreed […]

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