Irish Govt to hold referendum to give northerners- & citizens abroad- the vote in Presidential elections

Taoiseach Enda Kenny has confirmed that the Irish government will move to hold a referendum to allow Irish citizens living in the north of Ireland and abroad the right to vote in Irish Presidential elections.

In a speech delivered at the Famine Memorial in Philadelphia, the Fine Gael leader finally confirmed that the government would move to act on a recommendation made at the Constitutional Convention in 2013.

This is a move likely to be supported across the board by political parties within the southern state, though it will be interesting to see if some voices from inside and outside of the political class are raised in objection to extending the franchise.

All strands of Irish nationalism in the north have long supported this move, not least during Belfast-born Mary McAleese’s 14-year tenure in office.

Given the context of the seismic changes to our electoral landscape delivered through last week’s Assembly election, it will be fascinating to see how different strands of political unionism respond. Will we hear some unionists welcome and embrace the opportunity for their neighbours to participate as fully-fledged Irish citizens in electing our Head of State, or oppose and condemn something that is ultimately beyond their control?

 

  • Hugh Davison

    Johnny, where are you getting this 20% from? Are you saying that 20% of Irish citizens who are not born in Ireland are living off the state? Can you provide figures?, links? Is ‘living off the state’ a birthright?

  • Hugh Davison

    And you are a clown.

  • Hugh Davison

    ‘Electing’ I hope you meant.

  • Hugh Davison

    Go on Granni. Imagine.

  • Damien Mullan

    I find your response difficult to fathom, as for the the slanderous accusations of Fascism and Nazism, which are not interchangeable by the way, I leave them as totems to your extraordinary brass-neckedness.

    You say you are Irish because you were born in Ireland, and of those unionists who refer to themselves exclusively as British, are they to fall into the Irish narrative simply because they were born here, so that you can hold to the notion that Irishness is dependent on such criteria as mere place of birth.

    You cannot divorce Irish identity from that of culture, which is what you are suggesting, an Irishness hallowed out of meaning, to which some might respond, ‘what is the necessity of learning exclusively; Irish history, Irish music, Irish dancing, Irish literature, when but merely the place of one’s birth suffices for one’s identity.’ This is the logical conclusion of your contention.

    I never referred to ethnicity or race, but pointedly made mention of the ‘Old English’ and the ‘New Irish’. I did this specifically to dissuade anyone that my pronouncements not be misinterpreted as an ethno-nationalist invocation of Irishness.

  • Hugh Davison

    Well, maybe they’re confused about their history, and find it easier to deal in stereotypes. Social pressures. Women in East Belfast have broken the mould to some extent with learning Irish. So possibilities exist.

  • Hugh Davison

    In my view the role of President is not related to taxation. It is the elected government’s role to collect and spend money. There is no suggestion that people living outside the tax jurisdiction will be getting a vote in national elections.

  • Hugh Davison

    Most people in Northern Ireland can spell ‘sentence’. Can you spell the official name of your nearest neighbour?

  • Roger

    If you’re intending to say that tax is irrelevant here, I don’t agree. Attitudes to tax pervade the way we vote and the type of people we elect. Someone who talks ‘left’ may appeal to persons who don’t pay tax in Ireland more. They don’t have to live with the consequences of a society dominated by ‘left’ rhetoric rather than ‘right’.

    **left right are crude but I think clear enough here in tax context.

  • Hugh Davison

    Seaan, ahem, Chris said that, not Enda. So, technically Roger is correct.
    As far as the ongoing arguments about naming and respect etc. I don’t want to go there at this time.

  • Hugh Davison

    How and where did these sovereign African states come about?
    Is there no value for you in that Ireland was a unitary ‘state’ or polity throughout the nineteenth century, while the colonial exploitation and wrecking of Africa was going on?

  • Roger

    I don’t see how these questions relate to mine.

  • Hugh Davison

    We’re talking about the Presidential election. the rhetoric is to some extent irrelevant. The President, representing the state, is constrained in what he/she can say or do, just like Lizzy Windsor. If the current occupant comes over as ‘Left’ then that is still within the bounds. The perception is yours

  • Hugh Davison

    What are ’21st Century standards’? What is ’20th Century’ analysis? With your Africa analogy you have opened a can of worms that I have no interest in sharing. Leave it there, please.

  • Hugh Davison

    No, I’m saying you can’t blame your basket-case economy on the IRA.

  • macdanish

    Southern Man you are no patriot. I am embarrassed by your comments. As a proud Irishman, Ulsterman and Cavan man I look forward to the day that all Irishmen and women on the island of Ireland can vote for president. It is long overdue especially since one of our most successful presidents was a Belfast woman that could not vote for herself. We can not continue to have a situation were Irish presidents frequently cross the border and are received by Irish citizens that did not have the right to vote for them. I fear because this change proposes to include the wider diaspora the whole proposal will fail to carry.

  • Hugh Davison

    Give up the auld nation wouldya. The Nation State was a good idea in the 19th century. It’s well past its sell-by date, and can only lead to more wars, refugees and xenophobia.

  • Hugh Davison

    Why would you wish great harm to the South of Ireland?

  • Hugh Davison

    Sorry. My reply to you was deleted by the moderator. Sorry we can’t have this discussion on the connection between mythological separateness and fascism.

  • Hugh Davison

    You could try reading the papers. They’re available in newsagents, garages, convenience stores etc. Do you have those in Fermanagh?

  • Hugh Davison

    Why were business mostly Protestant owned?

  • Hugh Davison

    Granni, what’s the other part called? I live here but I’m blessed if I know the official name. I call it the ‘South’ but I’m sure that’s disrespectful to someone (don’t know who, though).

  • Jollyraj

    Why did the IRA target mostly Protestant businesses? Part of a general strategy of ethnic cleansing they favoured at the time.

  • Jollyraj

    Yes we have all of those. Fermanagh’s lovely. One of the quieter corners of the UK but we like it.

  • Jollyraj

    Interesting.

    When I’ve previously said that the IRA’s campaign was primarily about them murdering innocent Protestants (and a lot of innocent Catholics, too) I’ve been shouted down by the Shinnerdrones on here. A strategy of economic sabotage, they said.

    Now here you are retrospectively changing the goalposts again? So the IRA campaign failed to cripple NI ecomomically, did it?

    Tell me then: what did the IRA achieve by murdering thousands? Was it really all about getting a few expensive suits for Martin McGuinness, giving Gerry Kelly the chance to pose as a (fairly unconvincing) intellectual on tv, and a new set of gnashers for Gerry Adams? Holiday cottages for some of the chaps?

    If only they, and a few others like them, had been willing to work for a living….

  • Damien Mullan

    And what do you think will ultimately prise Scotland away from the union, it will be Scottish nationalism. What had the power to break apart the suffocating union that was Yugoslavia, but nationalism. What was the impulse for West Germany to absorb the East, other than nationalism. Since independence almost 100 years ago, the 26 counties of Ireland that encompass the Republic, have been more stable and content about their political structures, than it was during the 100 years prior to independence, which saw restlessness and turmoil. Nationalism is a positive good, it is abused when those who set out to abuse it succeed, by mutilating it in an attempt to intertwined an ethno-nationalist narrative. I am a supporter of the EU, as a forum in which nation states can coalesce and resolve shared problems and advance shared interests, but it will only succeed if the nations states remain the primary force, which they currently do within the European Council (the Heads of State/Government).

  • Hugh Davison

    Fair play to you. But look where English nationalism is taking us today.

  • Hugh Davison

    Again: Why were business mostly Protestant owned?

  • Damien Mullan

    Yes indeed, lets look at English nationalism. The unfortunate thing for English nationalism is how it intertwined itself with Empire. That’s not the fault of Scottish or Irish nationalists. There wasn’t exactly a groundswell for union, indeed both Acts of Union took a fair deal of bribery and coercion to get over the line, but that’s how the English set about getting their British Isles Empire to begin with, first entrap your neighbors, then look for larger chunks of the world next.

  • Jollyraj

    Well, I don’t see any evidence that they were.

    Do you have some evidence that an overwhelming majority of businesses, including sole proprietor outfits, were owned by Protestants?

    In Fermanagh, I’d guess the majority of businesses during the Troubles were Catholic-owned. And no quarrel.

    Granted, most of the businesses atracked by the IRA were Protestant-owned.

  • johnny lately

    Hugh who ?

  • Hugh Davison

    Descended from some Davi or other, maybe Scottish, Welsh? My mother’s line has a better Irish pedigree, but, who cares?
    We all started in Africa.

  • Hugh Davison

    You implied 3 responses back that most businesses were Protestant-owned. I thought that was a fact worthy of discussion. Now I understand that that’s not what you meant. So, forget it, OK?

  • Hugh Davison

    Which is not a good argument for nationalism, is it? Anyway, I think my nationalism is of the Falstaffian kind:
    ‘Rare words, brave world!—Hostess, my breakfast, come.—
    O, I could wish this tavern were my drum.’

  • Damien Mullan

    No, the only thing to fear is when nationalism is hijacked. It’s when cultures go mad that one ought to get worried.

    “Accurate scholarship can
    Unearth the whole offence
    From Luther until now
    That has driven a culture mad,
    Find what occurred at Linz,
    What huge imago made
    A psychopathic god:
    I and the public know
    What all schoolchildren learn,
    Those to whom evil is done
    Do evil in return.”

    – W. H. Auden – ‘September 1, 1939’

  • Jollyraj

    Fair enough.

  • Hugh Davison

    Damien, It seems to me that nationalism is easily hijacked. When I look at the origins of WW1 I see the familiar stew of Balkan nationalism that gave us the events following the Break-up of Jugoslavia, combined with Russian, French, German and UK (Empire) nationalism. WW2 was a rerun with some new players, including Japanese nationalism. etc. etc. Look at Poland and Hungary today, and Turkey, not to mention the elephant in the room, the USA.

  • chrisjones2

    ECHR says they have a right to self determination – just like others.

  • chrisjones2

    Thats your choice and the consequences that peopole see you denying the rights of others are your responsibility.

  • chrisjones2

    Crude racial stereotypes again. Then there is the anti semitisim . Dear dear …you are slowly losing it. I suggest a break for a couple of days or perhaps Connolly House should remove the batteries and reboot you after 5 minutes

  • chrisjones2

    “a situation no Irish people voted for”

    Actually we did vote for that in the GFA referrendum.

  • chrisjones2

    Perhaps someone with an intellect and a desire to use it?

  • chrisjones2

    Your obsession with race is very disturbing

  • Damien Mullan

    The Tsarist Empire was a pan-ethnic pan-national empire, the U.S. is a pan-ethnic, pan-racial, pan-cultural state, these were not and are not nation-states. As for the Balkans in 1914, one must remember that what escalated from a regional struggle for national self-determination, was quickly superseded by the kicking-in of inter-imperial alliance systems, not nationalist pacts of defense. The Triple Alliance was an alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy, therefor a pan-ethnic, pan-national, alliance system, imperial in intent. The Entente Cordiale and the Triple Cordiale, was an alliance system that had, the UK, France, and Russia as members, here again, a pan-ethnic, pan-national alliance, it’s intent again was an imperial balance of power exercise.

  • William Kinmont

    Could be sold as reclaiming it / pulling the rug from under st agenda . Don’t agree with the spirit of this approach but psychology might work

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Thank you for clarifying for someone prone to reacting when the red mist descends….of Dr Adamson is inappropriate, I apologise!

  • William Kinmont

    I like everyone else here am too proud and faithfull of my roots to be completely non partisan. It just happens that being of border reiver descent a more fluid approach to nationalities and borders sits well with my ethos. We should do our best to take advantage of the situation we have especially when negotiating over brexit even if we have to be slightly underhand in our techniques.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    Just back from a trip,WK, so apologise for the slow response! I’d noticed the illusion in the avatar name, hence the “willie” tag. My friend Andrew Calhoun has a version of the ballad on “Spotify”:

    http://www.allmusic.com/song/kinmont-willie-mt0008398964

    I’m almost a local “United Nations at the blood bank” myself, but with at least one published account of a “semi borderer” ancestor from Berwickshire engaging in a 40 hour duel with his cousin “Two handed swords at dawn” style i the sixteenth century. My Irish Gael and Jewish lines have some interesting stories too, not to bring in the Welsh. And certainly as you say, the Scots border tradition once understood does not encourage any great love for a centralised power of any complexion ………

  • William Kinmont

    Thanks for the link