West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Lower voting age to 16 across Ireland - Kelly

Published: 11 August, 2017

Catherine Kelly MLA, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Children and Young People, has reiterated the call for the voting age to be lowered to 16 on the eve of International Youth Day.

International Youth Day is marked annually on the 12th August and promotes different youth issues every year.

Catherine Kelly MLA said:

"The theme for 2017 is 'Youth Building Peace', recognising that young people often carry the heaviest burden of conflict yet are also essential for any lasting solution and can play an active role in being positive agents for change.

"A key way to empower young people to help them shape a more positive future is to lower the voting age to 16. Only by widening the political franchise can we guarantee that the rights of young people stay firmly on the political agenda.

"And while some argue that young people just aren't interested in politics, the case has already been made to lower the vote with the 2014 Independence Referendum in Scotland where 75% of 16 and 17 year-olds voted.

"Sixteen and 17 year-olds will also live with the disastrous consequences of Brexit yet if they'd been allowed to vote, all polls suggest they could have changed the outcome.

"During this crucial period for the future of Ireland and the European Union, we need young people to have a voice in deciding our future role in a post-Brexit EU."