There is a lot of confusion out there among the new Irish and EU citizens resident in Ireland as to who can vote in the various Elections the information below is taken from the Citizens Information website which will clarify the issue.
“If you have applied and been approved for Irish citizenship, you have the right to vote in all referenda and elections in Ireland. In order however to exercise that right, you must ensure that your name has been entered on the Electoral Register.
If you are resident in Ireland but not an Irish citizen, you also have the right to vote in some of the elections.
Resident Irish citizens are entitled to vote at all elections and they are identified by the letter ‘P’ after their names on the Register. Resident British citizens can vote in local, European and Dáil elections and are identified by the letter ‘D’. Resident EU citizens can only vote in local and European elections and have a letter ‘E’ after their names.
If you are an EU citizen, other than an Irish or British citizen, and you were not registered to vote in previous European elections in Ireland, you must also complete a declaration, Form EP1, to guard against double voting in the election. The local council will register you to vote in your local constituency and send the information in your declaration to your home EU Member State. You can also get the form from your local authority.
Those identified by the letter ‘L’ opposite their name (non-EU citizens) can only vote at local elections.”
The last date for people to get themselves on the Supplementary Voting Register is the 6th of May so there is still time to register.
It is clear that EU citizens are not aware that they can vote in the European Elections provided they have filled in the EP1 form. It is also very difficult for single working adults from other people other counties or countries without a knowledge of the area where they live to have an idea where the polling stations. With Galway City and County having such are high proportion of their population not Irish born it would be a good idea for local newspapers to print a maps showing the polling stations for the various electoral areas.
Cllr Nuala Nolan, Galway City Council