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    NY journalist to be emigrants’ voice in Seanad?

    By Noreen Bowden | June 5, 2007

    A journalist at New York’s Irish Echo newspaper has been having talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael regarding the possibility of becoming the first emigrant rights representative in the Seanad, reports Seán O’Driscoll in today’s Irish Times.

    Ray O’Hanlon, who is orginally from Dublin, says that his aim has been to secure the parties’ support for an agreed emigrant candidate; he will know in July whether he has been successful. The report says that O’Hanlon would like to see a panel for two or three emigrant representatives but does not want to rush the parties into sudden change.

    The report also says that US immigration rights lobbyists have been raising the issue of voting rights for emigrants, saying,

    Many want to use their vote to rewared Irish politicians who back US immigration reform that would legalise more than 12 million undocumented immigrants.

    Much of the resistance to emigrant votes has come from politicians who fear protest votes, especially those going to Sinn Féin.

    O’Hanlon says the internet and globalisation have enhanched the relationship between Ireland and its citizens abroad, and allows for emigrants to keep up with Irish politics. He says,

    There is no longer this sense of exile and distance. The state may end at the Cliffs of Moher, but the economy doesn’t. People are more aware and more than ever before. Now there has to be a complementary political voice to match it. 

     See the entire article at the Irish Echo. (subscription required)

    See Éan’s factsheet on global external voting rights.

    Topics: Latest News, US, voting rights | 1 Comment »

    One Response to “NY journalist to be emigrants’ voice in Seanad?”

    1. Will Kenny nominate a diaspora senator? | – about Irish emigration and the diaspora Says:
      May 9th, 2011 at 11:56 am

      […] Ray O’Hanlon, had been widely tipped back in 2006 and 2007 to be the first diaspora senator (as I wrote at the time). Back then, O’Hanlon had been in talks with Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael to be an agreed candidate […]