[Sinn Fein]

2 March 1999

Sinn Fein call for full voting rights for emigrants

Sinn Fein's candidate in the European elections for Dublin , Seán Crowe has called on the Government to allow emigrants to vote in the European Elections in June. He is calling for legislation to be introduced especially for Irish emigrants living in European Union countries, to be given a postal vote as ``a first step to allowing maximum voter representation. ``

Seán Crowe said:

``For many years our ports and airports have been filled to capacity with young people who have been failed by our system and to whom no future in Ireland was being offered. Unemployment and a lack of real opportunity forced many of our young people abroad.Its time that the Irish diaspora were given a say in the future of their country.

`` Irish people living abroad have sought the right to be allowed to vote in Irish elections for many years now. This is a right which many other countries automatically give to their nationals living abroad. Irish emigrants should have the right to vote in all Irish elections. I am publicly calling on this government to introduce legislation to bring us in line with many other European Union countries.

``Irish people living abroad especially those living in EU countries should be allowed to participate in this election.''

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