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Votes at 16 Bill defeated: NYCI reaction

Wednesday, March 21, 2018 - 19:15

Over 126,000 young people will miss out on voting in local and European Parliament elections

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide – has expressed its disappointment that a Bill to extend voting rights to 16 and 17 year olds has been defeated in the Seanad this evening (21.03.18). Had it been passed, the Bill would have allowed over 126,000 young people to vote in local and European Parliament elections next year.*

Speaking after the Seanad debate, James Doorley, NYCI Deputy Director said:

“We are disappointed that the Bill to extend voting rights to those aged 16 and 17 has been defeated, after it was opposed by government and Fianna Fáil abstained.

“We note that it was a close vote - only narrowly defeated by 18 to 15 - so this is by no means the end of the road for the campaign.

“In fact, votes at 16 is part of a wider European and international trend, with many countries extending the franchise. Most recently Malta and Scotland successfully extended the vote to those aged 16 and over, so we see it as very much a case of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ this right will be introduced in Ireland.

“We’d like to thank all of those involved in the campaign to date and will now regroup and continue to work towards strengthening our democracy by extending the vote to 16 and 17 year olds. We would like to extend thanks Senators Fintan Warfield and Lynn Ruane for sponsoring the Bill, and also to the young people who campaigned on line and in person in the run up to this debate, especially Vanessa Mulhall and Paul Dockerty who spoke out for the campaign on local radio stations up and down the country in favour of the campaign," concluded Mr Doorley.

 

ENDS

For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 087 781 4903 or 01 425 5955 or email communications@nyci.ie


*CSO: Number of young people aged 16 and 17 in 2019 (based on Census 2016) File E3003.
**See County by county breakdown below**

Notes to Editors:

National Youth Council of Ireland: The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is a membership-led umbrella organisation that represents and supports the interests of voluntary youth organisations and uses its collective experience to act on issues that impact on young people.

County by county breakdown:

Number of young people aged 16 and 17 in 2019 (based on Census 2016) File E3003

 

 

 

 

16 Years

17 Years

Total

Carlow

819

781

1,600

Dublin City

4,861

5,066

9,927

Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown

2,443

2,484

4,927

Fingal

4,350

4,015

8,365

South Dublin

3,885

3,805

7,690

Kildare

3,498

3,295

6,793

Kilkenny

1,434

1,447

2,881

Laois

1,342

1,235

2,577

Longford

629

623

1,252

Louth

1,864

2,054

3,918

Meath

2,990

3,007

5,997

Offaly

1,162

1,201

2,363

Westmeath

1,226

1,320

2,546

Wexford

2,165

2,155

4,320

Wicklow

2,067

2,043

4,110

Clare

1,720

1,696

3,416

Cork City

1,158

1,085

2,243

Cork County

5,939

5,728

11,667

Kerry

1,903

1,963

3,866

Limerick City and County

2,543

2,416

4,959

Tipperary

2,133

2,241

4,374

Waterford City and County

1,665

1,616

3,281

Galway City

850

777

1,627

Galway County

2,639

2,521

5,160

Leitrim

405

477

882

Mayo

1,822

1,772

3,594

Roscommon

881

916

1,797

Sligo

859

829

1,688

Cavan

1,135

1,084

2,219

Donegal

2,276

2,338

4,614

Monaghan

868

823

1,691

 

 

 

 

State

63,531

62,813

126,344