27 July 2000 Edition

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Back issue: Leinster House spurns exiles

THE CHANGE in the voting laws which gives Irish people living outside the Six Counties who emigrated as far back as October 1970 the opportunity to vote in Westminster and Ec parliamentary elections, is amajor step forward for all those emigrants who had previously been disenfranchised.

These new opportunities for natives of the Six Counties who are living outside the statelet and Britiain, stand in direct contrast to, however, to the abject failure of the Dublin Government to even consider such a move.

Their major reason for ignoring calls to give Irish people their right to vote in Irish elections, no matter where in the world they have ended up, is fear.

They are afraid that their cruel and disastrously bungled economic policies, which have driven up to 50,000 people a year from a state containing just over three and half million people, would come back to haunt them via those expatriate votes. Most of those emigrants are young people, forced abroad to seek work and a decent standard of living and to escape the poverty of unemployment and the misery of the sole queues.

Successive Dublin Governments, whether controlled by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, Tweedledum or Tweedledee, have shrunk away, and with good reason, from passing legislation which would result in their having to face the verdict of this massive emigrant population.

It is a damning indictment of the 26-County state that while even the British have recognised the justice of giving emigrants the vote and act upon it, Haughey and his cronies keep their heads in the sand.

An Phoblacht, Thursday 26 July 1990.

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1

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