Down Councillor Cadogan Enright announced recent successes in the Green Party’s campaign to ensure full equality of the British and Irish identities as required under the 1998 Agreement in relation to voting rights.
Cllr Enright, who is the Green Party’s candidate in the upcoming Westminster elections, said “As the party’s representative on the inter-party panel at the Electoral Commission I raised the issue of a number of registered voters being refused the right to vote in Warrenpoint, Castlewellan and Downpatrick in the 2007 MLA elections as they had Irish drivers licences and not UK drivers licences. I raised this issue at successive meetings of the panel in 2008 and 2009, receiving support of some of the other political parties.”
Cadogan Enright continued, “I have had a letter from the Chief Electoral Office confirming that from early 2010 the regulations have changed and that Irish Drivers Licence holders will be able to use their drivers licences too.”
Green Party Westminster candidate Cllr Enright said “At the upcoming Westminster election Irish driver’s licences will be no longer an issue. However there are still a number of other matters outstanding to be resolved with regards to equality with forms of ID and also the attesting of applications for overseas voters on an equal basis. I have received assurances from the Chief Electoral Officer that this is still being looked at but as it requires an amendment to primary legislation it cannot be done before the general election”.
“The Green Party will continue to press for full equality under the 1998 British-Irish Agreement and seek its full implementation. The Green Party in Co Down is a cross-community party and sees, in the 1998 agreement, a basis whereby everyone can now work together for the common good with full equality in N.I. Since the signing of the 1998 Agreement, there have been opportunities for cooperation between parties in Northern Ireland which should allow us to focus on issues other than the constitutional status of NI. Thus the Green Party can offer a radical alternative, as we do in Scotland, the Republic and other European countries were we have gained electoral influence”, concluded Councillor Cadogan Enright.