Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 1 September 2015

Northern Ireland vote sought for Irish presidential elections

By Fiach Kelly

Published 30/09/2013

Irish President Michael D Higgins
Irish President Michael D Higgins

Irish citizens in Northern Ireland should be given the right to vote in Irish presidential elections, the Republic's constitutional think-tank has recommended.

An overwhelming majority of the 100 members of the Constitutional Convention backed proposals to extend the vote to Irish emigrants around the world, and to people in Northern Ireland.

The recommendations will now go to the Irish government, which will decide within four months whether to hold a referendum on the issue.

Of those polled at the conference, 78% said voting rights for presidential elections should be extended to those living outside the Republic.

A further 73% agreed that residents in Northern Ireland should be allowed to have their say on the next Irish president.

But Alliance's man at the Convention urged caution. Stewart Dickson MLA said the Good Friday Agreement did not create joint authority or sovereignty.

Members of the Irish diaspora worldwide contributed to the convention meeting in Malahide, Co Dublin, via video-link.

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