‘It’s not worth the airfare’: Why emigrants are not coming #hometovote this week

Top stories from Irish Times Abroad this week

More than 1,000 of you have already cast your “virtual vote” in the Irish Times Abroad online poll this week.

More than 1,000 of you have already cast your “virtual vote” in the Irish Times Abroad online poll this week.

 

Unlike the #hometovote campaigns for the referendums on marriage equality or the Eighth Amendment, which prompted thousands of emigrants to travel back to Ireland to cast their ballots, this referendum on blasphemy and the election campaign for the 10th president of Ireland has failed to engage the Irish abroad to the same degree. Most people who responded to a call-out by Irish Times Abroad this week have been living abroad for longer than the 18-month restriction, are unwilling to spend the money to travel, or have little interest in the vote (“I don’t see either as worth travelling for,” writes one Irishwoman in Denmark).

But the vast majority would like to see a change in Ireland’s electoral laws to allow them a chance to have their say as Irish citizens living abroad. More than 1,000 of you have already cast your “virtual vote” in the Irish Times Abroad online poll this week. You must be a member of the Irish Times Abroad Network (which is free to join), and opted in to participate in polls. To do both, click here. If you are already opted in, you will have received your ballot paper by email already, so don’t forget to use it! The poll closes at 9am on Friday.

Also on Irish Times Abroad today, you can read about the 4,000 Irish orphan girls shipped to Australia during the Famine; the story of Daisy Bates, the Edwardian Irishwoman who spent four decades recording the cultures and customs of Aborigine communities in outback Australia ; and advice on what to do if you have lied about your criminal record on your Australian visa application .

You’ll find plenty more stories by and about the Irish diaspora this week on irishtimes.com/abroad.

To receive this digest to your inbox each week, you can join the free Irish Times Abroad Network here.

Thanks for reading.

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