VotingRights.ie co-founder Billy Lawless has been appointed to the Seanad by Taoiseach Enda Kenny. Mr Lawless is an advocate for undocumented Irish emigrants in the Chicago area, as well as a supporter of Irish emigrant voting rights. We are delighted to see his longtime support for the global Irish community recognized and that his appointment will allow him to bring his concerns to the Irish political process in a new way.
As we look forward to the future, we are optimistic for the implementation of the Manning Report on Seanad Reform, which has called for votes in the Seanad to be given to all citizens with a current Irish passport.
We are also optimistic that there will soon be moves afoot for the government to be taking a new look at fulfilling the Constitutional Convention promise to examine the issue of voting rights for the Irish abroad in presidential elections. Co-founders Noreen Bowden and Kevin Sullivan met the Taoiseach in Washington DC last week; Mr Kenny stated emphatically that the issue voting rights in presidential elections would be top priority for the new Junior Minister for the Diaspora, since named as Donegal TD Joe McHugh.