Sinn Féin Launch Bill To Lower Voting Age To 16

Sinn Féin has proposed lowering the voting age for Dáil, European, Local Elections and constitutional referendums, to 16.

Party spokesperson on Local Government, Brian Stanley, introduced the Bill, which would require a referendum to be held to alter the current constitutional provision.

Speaking to the Dáil, he said: "I am introducing this Bill in the hope that it will win all party support and ensure that the voting age is lowered to 16 prior to the next general election.

"The current government has committed itself to possibly lowering the age to 17, and has said that it will publish a Bill in the New Year. However, I would argue that the age should be set at 16, and that a referendum be held as soon as possible in order to ensure that this takes place before the next general election."

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Youth Affairs Senator Kathryn Reilly, added: "I have met with a range of youth organisations who are calling for this change. The fact that 16-year-olds in Scotland were able to vote in the recent referendum caught the imagination of people here. The Scottish referendum blew the myth that young people are apathetic out of the water.

"Young people drove the turnout in the Scottish referendum in a way that was extraordinary. By doing so, they've shown that they are capable of getting engaged with politics. If we get this right, we will take the first steps to creating a voter generation and democracy will thank us for it. I would hope that all parties in the Oireachtas support our proposal."


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