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Ireland, Dual Citizenship, and the emigrant vote Patrick OSullivan Yerevan, Armenia June 2006.

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Presentation on theme: "Ireland, Dual Citizenship, and the emigrant vote Patrick OSullivan Yerevan, Armenia June 2006."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ireland, Dual Citizenship, and the emigrant vote Patrick OSullivan Yerevan, Armenia June 2006

2 Map of British Isles

3 Images and Stereotypes England has been left in possession not only of the Soil of Ireland with all that grows and lives thereon, to her own use, but in possession of the worlds ear also. She may pour into it what tale she will: and all mankind will believe her… John Mitchel, 1854

4 Demographic History of Ireland Population of the island of Ireland… 1841… 8,178, … 6,555, …4,459, …4,243,000 [RofI ; NI ] 2001/2002… 5,602,000 [RofI 3,917,000; NI 1,685,000]

5 Irish Constitutional Tradition 1 Irish Home Rule Act, September 1914 Easter 1916, Rebellion and proclamation of republic 1920 Government of Ireland Act created the Northern Ireland statelet, 6 counties1920Government of Ireland Act 1921 The Anglo-Irish Treaty established an Irish dominion within the British Empire known as the Irish Free StatedominionBritish EmpireIrish Free State

6 Easter 1916 …Too long a sacrifice Can make a stone of the heart. O when may it suffice?... Khachig Tololyan Easter 1916: …the most Armenian of William Butler Yeats poems… Irish Civil War, pragmatists and irreconcilables Origins of the 2 main Irish political parties…

7 Irish Constitutional Tradition 2 Constitution of 1937 Article 2 [Territory] The national territory consists of the whole island of Ireland, its islands and the territorial seas. Article 3 [Extent of Application of Laws] Pending the re-integration of the national territory, and without prejudice to the right of Parliament and Government established by this Constitution to exercise jurisdiction over the whole of that territory, the laws enacted by that Parliament shall have the like area and extent of application as the laws of Ireland and the like extra-territorial effect.

8 De Valeras Vision The Ireland which we have dreamed of would be the home of a people who valued material wealth only as the basis of a right living, of a people who were satisfied with frugal comfort and devoted their leisure to the things of the spirit; a land whose countryside would be bright with cozy homesteads, whose fields and villages would be joyous with the sounds of industry, with the romping of sturdy children, the contests of athletic youths, the laughter of comely maidens; whose firesides would be forums for the wisdom of old age. It would, in a word, be the home of a people living the life that God desires men should live. Eamon de Valera 1943

9 Myths of the Irish Diaspora 1 It has been suggested that as many as 70 million people throughout the world can claim Irish descent. The existence of this vast extended Irish family creates an immense reservoir of goodwill towards Ireland and is one of our most important assets as a nation…

10 Myths of the Irish Diaspora 2 The Irish in USA In the United States the 1980 census had recorded a figure of 44 million Americans claiming Irish ancestry. But in fact the active Irish American community was much smaller. At its core were 200,000 Irish-born residents, just over half of whom resided in five key metropolitan areas: Boston, Chicago, San Francisco-Oakland, Washington, D.C. and vicinity, and New York City-Long Island…five key metropolitan areas:

11 The Irish in Britain Census 1911… 550,000 born in Ireland Census 1931… 505,000 born in Ireland Census 2001… 750,000 born in Ireland BUT only 624,000 identified selves as Irish

12 Irish citizens outside Ireland 12.3 Among the tens of millions who can claim Irish descent, there is a much smaller but still very significant number of Irish citizens… 12.4 It is estimated that there may be almost three million Irish citizens living outside Ireland. Of that total, around two million are in Britain, half a million in the US, sizeable numbers in Australia (213,000), Canada (74,000), New Zealand (38,000), EU countries other than Britain (36,000) and South Africa (35,000), and a scattering of some thousands in other countries. About 1.2 million of the total number of our citizens abroad were born in Ireland.

13 The Nineteenth Amendment Nineteenth Amendment of the Constitution Act, 1998 [Allowed the State to consent to be bound by the British-Irish Agreement done at Belfast on 10 April 1998 and provided that certain further amendments to the Constitution, notably to Articles 2 and 3, would come into effect when that agreement entered into force.]

14 Irish Constitutional Tradition 3 Article 2 It is the entitlement and birthright of every person born in the island of Ireland, which includes its islands and seas, to be part of the Irish Nation. That is also the entitlement of all persons otherwise qualified in accordance with law to be citizens of Ireland. Furthermore, the Irish nation cherishes its special affinity with people of Irish ancestry living abroad who share its cultural identity and heritage.

15 Independent Ireland and its emigrants 1955 Commission on Emigration and other Population Problems, , Reports, published IRELAND AND THE IRISH ABROAD Report of the Task Force on Policy regarding Emigrants, published 2002

16 Votes for Emigrants 1 The Task Force notes that, while the issue of votes for emigrants was raised by a small number of people, there was no consensus on how best to address the issue…..In the circumstances, the Task Force has not addressed the question of votes for emigrants. However, it recommends that this issue be kept under review in the context of further consideration of Constitutional reform…

17 Votes for Emigrants 2 The All Party Oireachtas Committee on the Constitution considered this matter and, in its Seventh Progress Report entitled Parliament, concluded that… The right to vote in Dáil elections should remain confined to citizens ordinarily resident in the State, and to such other classes of resident as are determined by law. The Taoiseach, in nominating senators, should include among his or her nominees a person or persons with an awareness of emigrant issues. For reasons similar to those set out in our discussion of Northern Ireland representation, the committee believes that the right to vote in presidential elections should not be extended to emigrants at the present time, nor should the right to vote in referendums be granted to emigrants.

18 Glór an Deoraí - Irish Emigrants Voice 1988 Conference in London on Alternatives to Irish Emigration Established Glór an Deoraí Later… The Irish Emigrant Vote Campaign (USA) Irish Votes Abroad (Australia) All these organisations have disappeared…

19 A bad Christmas present Its a bit like a bad Christmas present… Its not what you want… Its not something youll use… But you still have to say thank you… Dave Reynolds Organiser, Glor an Deorai, on the plan to allow emigrants to elect an Irish Senator… March

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