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For the first time in Ireland, homeless people can vote in European elections

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Thanks to a reform from 2022, Ireland's homeless will be able to vote in the country's European elections this Friday. An opportunity to highlight the ongoing housing crisis in the country.

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A homeless tent in Dublin.  Illustrative photo.  (Mostafa Darwish / Anadolu Agency)

It's the turn of the Irish to vote in the European elections, as well as local elections, on Friday 7 June. In most of the EU, the rule is: no address, no vote. But for the first time in Ireland, homeless people will be able to vote. This follows the reform from 2022 onwards, with concrete application today. A new group of voters who could bring to the fore the dire housing crisis facing the country.

A few months ago, Catherine, 54, was one of the 14,000 homeless people in Dublin: “It's very difficult, especially for my age and older people. It was terrible…” After seven years on the streets, Catherine finds home and she wants to tell her: “I haven't voted in a long time, but I'll make sure I vote every time from now on! If people get into things like this, it gives them some power.” According to her, a power “taken away from them” Meanwhile they “They face a lot when they're homeless,” But often they say and resign themselves “What can you do to get my vote?”.

From now on in Ireland, homeless people can register their local post office address, which is required to vote. Targeting people who are sleeping rough, the NGO Focus Ireland organized this whole campaign. According to Louise Bayliss, who works within the organisation, this vote could change the tone of the next election as Ireland's housing crisis deepens: “We're trying to put homelessness at the top of the political agenda, She argues. We believe we can do this by creating a voting bloc of people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. And I think that in Ireland, under the current circumstances, anyone in the private rented sector is likely to find themselves without a home!

“This should be considered an emergency!”

Irishman Martin Leahy threatened with deportation

Francinfo

Here's the thing about Martin Leahy: The musician is performing his guitar in front of the Irish Senate every Thursday from April 2022, as he faces possible expulsion. “Housing is a fundamental human right, He says. It should not be a profitable business. This should be considered an emergency!

Many Irish people today condemn the inaction of the governing coalition, which includes Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil, which promised to build 300,000 new homes by 2030. Martin Leahy, for his part, doesn't believe much of it. The island's pro-unification party, Sinn Féin, is likely to vote.

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