Irish in Britain Submissions
There have been three submissions to the Convention by Irish in Britain. Additional statements have been made by us following the end of the Convention on Constitutional topics and these can also be read here.
Note: At the time of these submissions our organisation was known as Federation of Irish Societies. As the submissions are a matter of record in the Constitutional Convention they retain our old name and logo.
End Disenfranchisement of Irish Citizens Overseas
The submission argues that the Constitution should not permit voter disqualification on grounds of residence. Instead it should provide for the extension of the franchise in order to allow and encourage participation of non–resident Irish citizens in public affairs.
The submission draws from international law to investigate whether an absolute residency requirement is a reasonable restriction in law. Authors believe the submission established the case for reform beyond reasonable doubt.
Overseas Votes: Changing Our Way of Thinking
This submission considers objections to overseas voting and deals with practicalities of overseas voting and representation in Dail Eireann.
Irish Overseas Participation: More discussion needed
In the light of referendum results rejecting the Government’s call to abolish the Irish Seanad, this submission calls for further discussion on the representation of the Irish diaspora in both chambers of the Oirachtas.
Giving and Getting: Working together for Diaspora engagement
Irish in Britain’s submission to the Comprehensive Review of Diaspora Policy announced by Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade, Eamon Gilmore TD at the Global Irish Economic Forum in Dublin on 4 October 2013.
This paper argues that Irish citizens resident overseas have a major contribution to make to Irish public life and makes four proposals for action:
- to end disenfranchisement of recent migrants
- to facilitate a Diaspora vote in Presidential elections
- to provide for Diaspora representation in the Oireachtas
- to appoint a minister for Diaspora engagement
The European Commission has named Ireland as one of the few remaining EU member states to deny citizens the right to vote while residing in another EU member state. Instructions have been issued on measures that might be taken.
The Commission is acting on the legal grounds described by Irish in Britain in its submission to the Constitution Convention in Dublin.
Jennie McShannon, Irish in Britain CEO welcomed the European Commission statement (29 January, 2014) and called upon the Irish government to address the issues it raises without delay.
The Irish Government is considering the most recent report of the Constitutional Convention (21 November 2013) recommending extension of Voting in Presidential Elections to Irish citizens living abroad. It is required to bring a formal response to the Dail before the end of March. TDs will vote on whether to hold a a referendum on the issue.
Read European Commission statement and communication to Member States
Seanad Reform Working Group Submission (30 January 2015)
Irish in Britain have made a submission to the Seanad Reform Working Group calling for representation of Irish citizens resident overseas.
Read Bringing in the Diaspora – Seanad reform: Global Island solutions