Wexford Senator Backs Plans To Drop Voting Age To Sixteen

A Wexford Senator has backed plans to drop the voting age to sixteen..

Fianna Fáil Senator Malcolm Byrne has proposed that the voting age be reduced to 16 for Local and European elections in 2024.

Speaking in the Seanad recently, Wexford Senator Malcolm Byrne said:

“What I am proposing is that, for the local and European elections in 2024, that we look at reducing the voting age to 16.

“Young people have illustrated their maturity in recent years on everything from climate change and human rights to community youth facilities. I would like to salute the youth wings of all of our political parties, Ógra Fianna Fáil along with their other party counterparts have made a significant contribution to policies at a national level.

“The reduction in voting age has been in place in a number of other European countries and it has worked quite well. Austria was the first EU country to do it in 2007 but it is also in place in Argentina, in Brazil, in Scotland, in Wales and in a lot of the German Länder.

“We should encourage youth participation in politics and build a new deal for young people as we come out of Covid,” Byrne said.

During a time when sixteen year olds in Ireland cannot drive, cannot buy a drink, cannot apply to the Irish Army, or carry out an array of other age-restricting tasks, it is an interesting proposal that is sure to open up another healthy discussion.

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