20,000 new student voters registered ahead of Equal Marriage referendum

Campaign to get students registered to vote proves hugely successful

The Union of Students in Ireland says it has registered more than 20,000 new student voters on electoral registers around the country.

A campaign to get students to register to vote forms part of the student movement’s plan to take an active role in next year’s referendum campaign to secure the right of people to marry, regardless of their gender.

"Students have historically been a potent force for equality," said USI president Laura Harmon.

“Many of those registered in the last few weeks have never cast a ballot, but have decided to convert their voices to votes for the issues they believe in,” she continued. The union had set a goal of registering 10,000 students, she said.


“Students’ Unions should be proud of their work to get so many students primed and ready for the polling booth. They have put in enormous effort and long hours to secure registrations. When the referendum is eventually called, this work will pay off with a huge student effort to secure equal marriage for everyone.”

Harmon paid tribute to the work of the Gay and Lesbian Equality Network, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties and Marriage Equality for driving a general voter registration campaign, and to Spun Out for National Voter Registration Day, held in campuses on 30 October.

Registrations recorded by students' union: IT Carlow SU: 600 Cork IT SU: 600 University College Cork SU: 3,500 IT Tralee SU: 250 Limerick IT SU: 264 Waterford IT SU: 450 NUI, Galway SU: 3,000 Maynooth Students' Union: 2,500 Galway Mayo IT SU: 1,080 IT Sligo SU: 950 St Angela's College, Sligo SU: 47 Athlone IT SU: 450 Letterkenny IT SU: 220 Dundalk IT SU: 100 St Patrick's College, Drumcondra SU: 468 IT Tallaght SU: 700 Dublin City University SU: 800 Trinity College Dublin SU: 3,150 IT Blanchardstown: 156 Dublin IT SU: 750 National College of Ireland SU: 175 Total: 20,210

Anthea McTeirnan

Anthea McTeirnan

Anthea McTeirnan is an Irish Times journalist