Published in The Irish Times twenty-four years ago almost to the day, this article dates from the time when “New Irish” referred to native-born Irish emigrants based in the United States. I think it encapsulates some of the community spirit and idealism of the 80s and 90s emigrant generation. Unable to vote in Irish national elections as a result of their non-residency in Ireland – the piece highlights how people came together to address the injustice. A recent Irish Times article reported how emigrants still haven’t got the vote, indicating how utterly this country refuses to change in some of the most significant ways. What would have happened if people hadn’t made the effort to travel home to vote in 2015’s landmark Same-sex Marriage Referendum? It’s like some perverse Irish joke!
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