Did Ireland Allow Refugees And Asylum Seekers The Right To Vote? Fact-Checking Alleged UN Article

For the last 20 years, refugees and asylum seekers have been able to cast ballots in local elections; this is not a recent phenomenon and has nothing to do with the approaching local elections. Refugees and asylum-seekers were granted the ability to vote following the government's announcement that it would expand the list of acceptable forms for voter registration.
Do Asylum-seekers and Refugees Vote In Ireland?

Representational Image.

Photo : iStock
Recently, a photo allegedly showing Ireland's government granting voting rights to asylum-seekers and refugees has been going viral on social media. But for the last 20 years, refugees and asylum seekers have been able to cast ballots in local elections; this is not a recent phenomenon and has nothing to do with the approaching local elections.
Some have falsely claimed that the government will permit foreigners living in Ireland to cast ballots for them as a token of gratitude for the government's asylum grant. Last year, false information went around suggesting that the government was extending the right to vote to immigrants and asylum seekers in an attempt to "grab power."
The item, titled "Ireland grants refugees and asylum seekers right to vote," was posted on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees website under the "Ireland" area. An "announcement by the Minister for Environment, Heritage, and Local Government this week" is also included in the graphic. The Journal reports that this article was first published in 2004 by the UNHCR.
Refugees and asylum-seekers were granted the ability to vote following the government's announcement that it would expand the list of acceptable forms for voter registration. These include the Garda National Immigration Bureau (GNIB) card carried by refugees and the Temporary Registration Certificate (TRC) card carried by asylum seekers.
In 1999, a referendum approved the constitutional framework that permits foreign nationals to cast ballots in Ireland. However, the only nationalities eligible to vote in general elections are British and Irish nationals residing in Ireland.
Only municipal elections, held every five years to choose representatives to city and county councils, which make decisions about garbage collection, housing, roads, planning, parks, and other issues, are open to voting by refugees and asylum seekers. They are not permitted to cast ballots in referendums, European elections, presidential elections, or general elections.
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