Emigrants and referendum priorities


Sir, – So, after monumental positive votes on same-sex marriage and abortion, the enfranchised in Ireland will next get to vote in referendums on removal of a clause that refers to women’s place in the home, and to remove the offence of blasphemy. Does either clause have any practical effect in the present day in the same way that the removal of the ban on abortion and the recognition of same-sex marriage have? How many women in today’s Ireland are ordered by some authority to be carers and homemakers? How many people have been prosecuted for blasphemy in the history of the State? None.

I agree that these things should not be part of the Constitution, but there are far more important rights issues that remain to be addressed in the progressive, modern, fair Ireland glowingly depicted by the Leo Varadkar, Simon Coveney and Bono, among others, in the video released the other day as part of Ireland’s attempt to tempt poorer UN members to give us a seat on the security council.

Chief among them must be the continued denial of voting rights to Irish emigrants, a stance that places Ireland in a category where we rub shoulders with such countries as Zimbabwe.

In denying voting rights to millions of its citizens, simply because they live in other countries, Ireland continues to distinguish itself in negative terms from its peers among the liberal and democratic nations of the West. – Yours, etc,