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Government sets up referendum commission for presidential elections

The Government is establishing a referendum commission on plans to extend the presidential vote t...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.55 26 Sep 2019


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Government sets up referendum...

Government sets up referendum commission for presidential elections

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

19.55 26 Sep 2019


Share this article


The Government is establishing a referendum commission on plans to extend the presidential vote to Irish citizens abroad.

Mr Justice David Barniville has been nominated to act as chairperson to the commission.

The other members are the Comptroller and Auditor General Seamus McCarthy, the Ombudsman Peter Tyndall, the clerk of the Dáil Peter Finnegan and clerk of the Seanad Martin Groves.

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The Government has been considering a proposal to extend voting rights in presidential elections to Irish citizens outside the State.

On Thursday, an order was made under the Referendum Act 1998 to set up a commission on the Thirty-Ninth Amendment of the Constitution (Presidential Elections) Bill 2019.

The principal function of the commission is to prepare, publish and distribute statements containing a general explanation of the referendum proposal.

It will also promote awareness of the referendum, and encourage the electorate to vote.

The Cabinet approved a bill to hold the referendum back in June.

Under the proposed change, everyone with Irish citizenship living abroad could vote for the president.

It is planned that online registration and postal voting would be used to extend the franchise.

If the proposed referendum passes, the 2025 presidential election would be the first in which Irish people abroad could vote.


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2025 Presidential Election Irish Citizens Irish Citizens Abroad Mr Justice David Barniville Presidential Elections Referendum Commission Simon Coveney

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