Carrick-on-Suir student campaigns for 16 year-olds to get the vote

A Carrick-on-Suir college student has played a key role in the latest boost to the National Youth Council of Ireland’s campaign to reduce the voting age to 16.

A Carrick-on-Suir college student has played a key role in the latest boost to the National Youth Council of Ireland’s campaign to reduce the voting age to 16.

Twenty-one years-old Maria Kelly, who is studying politics in Trinity College Dublin, was a member of the National Youth Council Vote at 16 Campaign delegation that helped persuade the Constitutional Convention to vote in favour of lowering the voting age to 16 and recommend that the issue be put to a referendum.

Maria from Carrickbeg and her three National Youth Council colleagues from Wicklow, and Limerick presented their arguments for lowering the voting age before the Constitutional Convention 
on Saturday.

The Convention is a forum comprising of 100 people, representative of Irish society and parliamentarians from the island of Ireland, with an independent chairman.

It was established by resolutions of the Houses of the Oireachtas and has been asked to consider and make recommendations to the Oireachtas on a range of topics including the voting age issue as possible future amendments to the Constitution.

The Government has undertaken to respond to the Convention’s recommendations within four months.

National Youth Council of Ireland Deputy Director James Doorley said the NYCI has led the campaign on this issue since 2009 and is delighted with the Convention’s recommendation.

It was heartening to see that the NCYI Vote at 16 Campaign group’s arguments had been taken on board, and that the campaign’s work has paid off, he added.