Constitutional Convention’s embrace of equality of all citizens welcome – Caitriona Ruane MLA

November 7, 2018

Constitutional Convention’s embrace of equality of all citizens welcome – Caitriona Ruane MLA
The Sinn Féin delegates to the Constitutional Convention have welcomed the strong vote in favour of extending the right to vote for the President to northern citizens and citizens abroad.
Deputy first Minister, Martin McGuinness, Gerry Adams TD and Mary Lou McDonald TD made a submission on behalf of Sinn Féin.
South Down MLA Caitriona Ruane who has also represented Sinn Féin at the Convention said;
“The Constitutional Convention has taken a significant step forward in its recognition of the equal rights of all Irish citizens. By doing so, it has also made a constructive contribution to the peace process.
“The issue of voting rights in Irish Presidential elections for citizens living in the North and those living abroad is an important one for all democrats, but particularly for citizens in the north. This was a significant plank in Sinn Féin’s campaign when Martin McGuinness contested the last Presidential election.
“The right to vote was hard fought for here in our own lifetime. It is a fundamental human right. The fact that Irish citizens living North of the border cannot vote for the President of Ireland is another anomaly of partition.
“President Michael D Higgins and before him, Mary Robinson and Mary McAleese, spoke and acted as Presidents for all on this island. This is how people in the North regarded them too. It is imperative that the Irish Government act on the recommendations of the Convention to allow the people of the North and those who have left our shores to vote in Presidential elections.
“Sinn Féin isn’t just looking for votes for Republicans or Nationalists in the North. Unionists also deserve the opportunity, if they wish to exercise it, to elect the President and we expressed that sentiment at the convention.”