Sinn Féin spokesperson for the Arts, Youth Affairs and LGBTQI rights, Senator Fintan Warfield has condemned the Fianna Fáil party, as for the second time, they have voted to scupper the Electoral (Amendment) (Voting at 16) Bill 2016.

The bill seeks to lower the voting age to 16 for local and European elections. This is despite Fianna Fáil holding a policy that explicitly states they support the voting age being reduced to 16 for the 2019 local elections.

Senator Warfield said:

“I entirely condemn the actions taken by Fianna Fáil today. They submitted amendments that would make ‘Votes at 16’ an impossibility for the 2019 local and European elections. 

“They then one went further and abstained from actually voting on the proposal to lower the voting age outright. This time last year, they voted with the government to delay the bill for nine months stating that they wished to consider the matter further.

“It has become inherently clear by their actions today that they have not engaged in further consideration. As legislators who have a duty towards social issues, I find that both reprehensible and irresponsible.

“In January 2016, Fianna Fáil published a policy booklet entitled ‘Engaging the Future’. This stated, in no uncertain terms, that Fianna Fáil support lowering the voting age for 2019 local elections.

“In order for this to happen, this bill must progress in a time sensitive manner.

“I call on Fianna Fáil to actually adhere to their own stated policy and to use all available Oireachtas avenues towards lowering the voting age for Summer 2019 as a matter of urgency.”