Access to electoral rights : Ireland
Title: Access to electoral rights : Ireland
Series/Number: [GLOBALCIT]; EUDO Citizenship Observatory; 2014/02; Electoral Rights Reports
Electoral rights for Irish citizens abroad and for foreign residents have been a topic of political debate (less so of legislative reform) for at least fifty years. There is a long-standing demand that Irish emigrants be given some parliamentary representation, in either the upper house (Seanad Éireann) or the lower house (Dáil Éireann). The only electoral rights granted to Irish citizens not ordinarily resident in the State are the right to be elected to either house of parliament and, for graduates of certain universities within the State, a vote in the election of the Senators representing those universities. Elections to the European Parliament apart, in relation to the electoral rights of non-citizens ordinarily resident in Ireland, a sharp distinction exists between local elections (where all ordinarily resident in the State, irrespective of citizenship, have both active and passive electoral rights) and elections to Dáil Éireann, in which only Irish citizens have the right to be elected and only Irish citizens, British citizens (and, potentially, citizens of other European Union member states) have the right to vote. Wide extension of electoral rights in local elections has been uncontroversial and there was little opposition to the constitutional amendment in 1984 providing for the possibility of noncitizens voting in Dáil elections. Issues concerning the extension of electoral rights generally appear to provoke relatively little public interest; extending a form of postal voting to all prisoners in the State, irrespective of their crimes or the duration of their sentences attracted little public attention.
Type of Access: openAccess