Independent Councillor Michael Cholm MacGiolla Easbuig has called on the Government to show trust in Ireland’s young people by passing legislation allowing them to vote from aged 16.
MacGiolla Easbuig was speaking after he had a motion passed by Donegal County Council proposing the voting in Donegal and across the state to be lowered.
The Councillor launched his proposal at the last council meeting and said lowering the voting age was a discussion that needed to be taken seriously to ensure participation for young and first-time voters.
The Citizens’ Assembly recommended last year that the voting age should be lowered to the age of 16, and a private members’ Bill was also introduced in 2018 in the Seanad seeking such a reduction before the 2019 European and local elections.
He said: “Our young people in Donegal and across the country are more than capable of making political decisions, they have an interest in politics and we asked our young ones to participate in different referendums in this country and yet they couldn’t vote.
“I think that young people, age 16 and 17, are mature enough and well able enough to have a vote and make the right decisions that affect them, their families, and communities,” MacGiolla Easbuig added.
The Glenties Councillor, who is a former youth worker in Donegal and Dublin, insists through his work with teenagers for several years, is more than sure that they deserve more trust when it comes to the voting platform.
“I worked with young people full-time before I became a Councillor in Donegal and in Dublin and I trust them,” he said.
“I believe, as I said before, that they are capable of making these decisions.
“Our young people are voting already, granted they are a little bit younger, in our schools and they do fantastic work.
“I generally believe that they would have an interest in voting and that’s why I want the state to legislate for them to get the vote from 16 years of age onwards.”Tags: