An Irish citizen living in London has launched a campaign urging fellow emigrants to travel back home in order to vote ‘yes’ in the forthcoming marriage equality referendum.
Republic of Ireland Taoiseach Enda Kenny announced earlier this month that the expected referendum would take place on May 22. Irish residents will vote on whether not to Amend article 41 of the country’s constitution in order to allow same sex marriage.
Joey Kavanagh moved to the UK last summer, The Irish Times reports, and he now works in the capital as an arts administrator. Under Irish law, citizens who have been living abroad for 18 months or less retain their right to vote but cannot do so by post and must return to the Republic in person. Irish people who have lived abroad for longer than 18 months cannot usually vote.
Mr Kavanagh travels back in order to vote yes and has set up a website to encourage other Irish citizens living in the UK to do the same. Get the Boat to Vote urges support for marriage equality, stating:
“We’re calling on vote-eligible ex-pats to join us in making the journey home to vote yes and play our part in what we hope will be a massive step forward for equality in Ireland.”
The 28 year-old told The Irish Times:
“It’s inconvenient to have to travel all the way home to vote, so I figured we might as well make something of an occasion of the journey… I hoped to plant the idea in recent emigrants’ heads that, with a little planning, they can have a say.”