The government recognises the importance ensuring that migrants are aware of their voting rights and their rights to participate and engage in Irish politics. This has been highlighted in the national Migrant Integration Strategy – ‘A Blueprint for the Future’, with two actions specifically focused on elections and voting:
So what are migrants voting rights in Ireland?
Residents in Ireland, regardless of nationality, are eligible to vote and participate as candidates in local government elections.
All residents have the right to vote in local elections
All residents also have the right to run in local elections
Rights in terms of voting for national and European elections as well as referenda vary, but further information regarding this can be found at Citizens Information.
What is OPMI doing to achieve these actions?
OPMI is working with the migrant NGO community to deliver a series of three events across Ireland which seek to help achieve the goals envisaged in the above actions within the Migrant Integration Strategy. Events that are planned or that have already taken place include:
24 March 2018: "Promoting Political Engagement of Migrants 2018" (Dublin)
This event brought together migrant community leaders from all over the State together with a panel of representatives from Irish political parties and groupings with a view to inspiring migrants to get more involved in local and national politics, equipping them to spread some key message among their communities and encouraging political to do more to attract migrants into politics. With funding from the Department of Justice and Equality, this event was organised by a group of NGOs: The Immigrant Council of Ireland, Akidwa, Cairde, the International Organisation for Migration, Forum Polonia, New Communities Partnership, Places of Sanctuary Ireland and Wezesha.
22 September 2018: "Migrant Political Participation" (Cork)
This event, organised by number of different organisations with the support of the Department of Justice and Equality, is scheduled for Saturday 22nd of September 2018 at Cork City Council, Millennium Hall, Cork from 11.00 – 4.00 p.m. Keynote address by Minister Stanton at 1:15pm.
Date TBC: Galway Event
The final event in this series is planned for Galway in either late 2018 or early 2019. Discussions between the local migrant NGO community and Galway County Council on the date, venue and structure of this event will commence in September 2018.
Other activities in this area:
23 August 2018: "Shape Your City: Use Your vote" voter registration campaign (Cork City Council)
Cork City Council recently launched this voter registration campaign in an effort to encourage foreign works and immigrants in Cork city to vote. Minister of State David Stanton, T.D. attended the event and stated:
If you know of any other events being held to encourage migrant participation in Irish politics why not let us know? We'd love to hear from you. Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org