Ireland, Dual Citizenship, and the emigrant vote by wvd19763

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									Ireland, Dual Citizenship, and
      the emigrant vote
        Patrick O’Sullivan
        Yerevan, Armenia
           June 2006
Map of British Isles
     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 world’s ear also.
  She may pour into it what tale she will: and
  all mankind will believe her…’
• John Mitchel, 1854
    Demographic History of Ireland
•   Population of the island of Ireland…
•   1841… 8,178,000
•   1851… 6,555,000
•   1901…4,459, 000
•   1961…4,243,000
•   [RofI 2818000; NI 1425000]
•   2001/2002… 5,602,000
•   [RofI 3,917,000; NI 1,685,000]
 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 counties
• 1921 The Anglo-Irish Treaty established
  an Irish dominion within the British Empire
  known as the Irish Free State
                       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, 1922-23
• ‘pragmatists’ and ‘irreconcilables’
• Origins of the 2 main Irish political parties…
  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.
             De Valera’s 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
  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…’
    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…’
         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’
    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.
  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.]
  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.
    Independent Ireland and its
           emigrants
• 1955
• Commission on Emigration and other
  Population Problems, 1948-54, Reports,
  published 1955
• 2002
• IRELAND AND THE IRISH ABROAD
• Report of the Task Force on Policy
  regarding Emigrants, published 2002
        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…’
              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.”
    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…
    ‘A bad Christmas present’
• ‘It’s a bit like a bad Christmas present…
• It’s not what you want…
• It’s not something you’ll 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 17 1996

								
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