Senator Fintan Warfield has criticised the Government for failing to honour their commitment to hold a referendum on reducing the voting age to 16.
Senator Warfield said: “It has been six years since the Constitutional Convention recommended that the State should consider reducing the voting age to sixteen. The previous Government, of which An Taoiseach served in cabinet, accepted this recommendation and announced plans to hold a referendum. “In September 2017, the Government reiterated this commitment when it announced an indicative timetable of referenda to be held, including lowering the voting age to 16. “The current Programme for Government also commits to the holding of a referendum. “The latest announcement by Government that the referendum will not be held in 2019 means that there is no chance of this referendum taking place this term, given that they plan to drag out the self-serving confidence and supply agreement until early next year.
“I am extremely disappointed by this. “Fine Gael policy on lowering the voting age is chaotic. They oppose Sinn Féin legislation that would lower the voting age for Local and European Parliament elections, instead promising a referendum to address the voting age in all elections, yet they continually fail to facilitate this referendum. “The findings of the Constitutional Convention in 2013 are an inconvenience to Government. “I will be calling on Minister Murphy and Minister Phelan to come before the Seanad to explain their failures on this issue.”