Migrants living in Limerick urged to vote in local elections

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Cllr Michael Sheahan; Justyna Gwojdzinska, Polish Arts festival; Karen McHugh, Doras Luimni and Cllr Gerry McLoughlin are encouraging migrants to vote in next year's local elections [Picture: Adrian Butler]
MIGRANTS living in Limerick are being urged to register to vote ahead of next year’s local elections.

MIGRANTS living in Limerick are being urged to register to vote ahead of next year’s local elections.

Anybody who has been living in Limerick since September 1, last are entitled to vote in the local elections - irrespective of their nationality or immigration status in this country.

Doras Luimni in association with Forum Polonia and the Polish Arts Festival, Limerick held an event to assist migrants who wanted to register ahead of the deadline to be included on the Electoral Register.

While the deadline is 5pm this Monday, intending voters will still be able to register to vote, through the Supplemental Register, up to a fortnight before polling day.

“I think it’s very important because otherwise you feel like a second-class citizen even though you are not. You kind of feel I’m not involved in this so why should I be bothered,” said Patrick Mercie who moved to Limerick from Belgium almost 20 years ago.

Anton Nikitenko from kyrgyzstan who has been living in Limerick for more than two years says he is looking forward to voting in the local elections.

“I want to vote, I want to be involved in Limerick life, I want to be integrated, that’s why I came here and it’s important for me and future that I get involved,” he said.

Former mayor, Cllr Gerry McLoughlin, who once proposed the introduction of Polish street signs in Limerick says it’s only right that migrants should have a say in the outcome of the local elections. “It’s massive that migrants are and part of our community and it’s important that that have a voice. We know how colourful all these groups are and I just think they ad to the city,” he said.