Mól an óige agus tíocfaidh sí.

The Votes at 16 Campaign is a youth-led campaign across Ireland, and the UK, encouraged by schools, Unions, youth forums and parliaments. NUS-USI believes that as sixteen and seventeen-year olds have responsibilities such as being able to leave school, work full time, get married, be parents or carers and even be members of political parties from sixteen, this should be balanced with their right to vote. We do not believe that young people are disengaged, but instead feel that they are disenfranchised. We believe that young people are at the cutting edge of change and must have their views reflected in society.

So why is this important?

At 16, people become adults and take control of their own futures – so why can’t we have the basic right of all adult citizens of a say in how the country is run? We can:

  • Leave school
  • Work full-time
  • Pay taxes
  • Leave home
  • Get married
  • Join the armed forces

…but can’t vote for our MPs!

Young people need to be encouraged to take part in democracy, not kept out from it.
NUS-USI’s 2017/18 Campaigns and Citizenship Officer joined the Seanadoiri proposers of the motion to lower the voting age from 18 to 16 in Seanad Éireann, at an event on the issue at Féile an Phobail plé agus diospoireachtaí/discussion and debate. She attended the Association of Colleges annual conference 2017 in the ICC Birmingham on a panel discussion led by broadcaster Steph McGovern, and participated on a panel debate and discussion, alongside Sinn Fein MLA Caoimhe Archibald, Ulster Unionist Party MLA John Stewart and 2017/18 NUS UK Vice President for Society and Citizenship Robbie Young (NUS) on this issue at NUS-USI’s FE Conference 2018.