Mid Ulster Council to discuss ‘presidential vote’

Irish President Michael D. Higgins
Irish President Michael D. Higgins

Mid Ulster District Council is set to discuss presidential voting rights for all Irish citizens regardless of their place of residency.

Sinn Féin is asking council to support the recommendation made by the Constitutional Convention to extend the right to vote in the Presidential election in two years time.

“There is a mixture of deep disappointment and anger among the broad nationalist family in the north at the decision of the Taoiseach not to hold a referendum to change the constitution to allow the people of the north and the Irish diaspora the opportunity to vote for our president in the 2018 election,” said Sinn Féin group leader Cllr Ronan McGinley.

He said it is understanable that people had an expectation that a referendum would be held following the conventions recommendation.

“A lot of people are looking forward to the day that they will be able to vote for their President,” he continued.

“The Taoiseach’s decision not to hold a referendum is unacceptable.

“The people of the north and the Irish diaspora are part of this nation. They should be included in it and not excluded as the Taoiseach is tryjng to do with this decision.

“Sinn Féin are calling on the broad nationalist community to unite and lobby the Taoiseach to reverse his decision, which is why I am bringing this motion to the council.”

Councillor McGinley said he will be asking council to make its voice heard to the Taoiseach. “We have been excluded from the rest of this nation for too long, it has to end,” he added.