The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) – which represents organisations working with over 380,000 young people nationwide – has welcomed a Bill that will be brought for debate by Thomas Pringle, TD, in the Dáil today (23.06.21), that could eventually see voting rights extended to over 130,000* young people aged 16 and 17.
Paul Gordon, NYCI Director of Policy and Advocacy said: “NYCI welcomes the Right to Vote at 16 Bill being proposed by Deputy Pringle. We’re asking all TDs to support young people in their communities who have a stake and want a say in our democracy, by backing this Bill.”
“We have been campaigning for voting rights for 16 and 17 year olds since 2009, and today’s Dáil debate is a positive step in the right direction.
“Currently those aged 16 and 17, can leave school, seek full-time employment, be liable for tax, and join the youth sections of political parties, but cannot vote. We’ve seen the franchise successfully extended to 16 and 17 year olds in other jurisdictions including Austria, Scotland and Malta with positive results,” said Mr Gordon, outlining some of the reasons why the NYCI is calling for change:
Mr Gordon concluded: “We will continue to campaign on this issue and look forward to working with Deputy Pringle and all parties, to make extension of the voting age a reality.”
More information about the campaign can be found at www.voteat16.ie.
For further information, please contact Daniel Meister, Communications Manager at NYCI on 087 781 4903 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
About the Vote at 16 Bill
“The “Thirty-ninth Amendment of the Constitution (Right to Vote at 16) Bill 2021” seeks to bring about a referendum on the constitution. If such a referendum passed, this would extend the franchise for Dáil elections to all those aged 16 and 17.
*Source (CSO data):The PEA11 table on PXSTAT (https://data.cso.ie/table/PEA11) has the single year of age breakdown for our annual population estimates. The snip below show the estimated total for 16 and 17 year olds for 2021:
OTHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION ABOUT VOTE AT 16
Constitutional Convention voted in favour – promised referendum never materialised
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