Dear Ryanair



Under Section 5 (4) of the Electoral Act 1963, Irish citizens overseas may retain full voting rights as continuing stakeholders within the polity for a period of 18 months, should they intend to return to Ireland within that timeframe…

Trudi writes:

“My friend Joey and his amazing friends are organising the Get the Boat 2 Vote campaign to get young Irish immigrants home from the UK to vote onMay 22nd. They just penned a letter to Ryanair (above) asking to help out with flights and I think the more coverage the better, so you’d nearly give them a shout out! Next, a letter to Emirates to get us all home from Aussie!”

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85 thoughts on “Dear Ryanair

  1. Jdawg

    Sorry. This sucks. This marriage referendum is just turning into a circus at this stage. Next on to Emirates.

    Why not after that get on to The Goodyear blimp and start air shipping people home to vote. I’m gay by the way.

    1. Nice Anne (Dammit)

      You are leaving for the Emirates? Sure I suppose dem dere liberals drove you to it.
      Good luck being the only gay in the sanddunes (or are you headed for the skyscrapers?)

    1. Nej

      Why? What is your reasoning for this?

      We’re still citizens. Until we renounce citizenship, we have EVERY RIGHT to vote, regardless of where we reside. This applies to every country across the world. The real question is why can I not vote in my local Embassy?

      Every other nationality I’ve encountered can – are we so backwards we cannot figure this out?

      1. Jane

        We can figure it out alright, that’s not the problem. It’s whether we really need people who think that everyone living in Ireland is backward voting to set public policy for those of us who live here.

      2. Rob_G

        “Why? What is your reasoning for this?”

        – you no longer live in the state, and it is unfair that you are allowed to vote on things which will no longer affect you.

        What if citizens living outside the state were allowed to vote in referendums, and every single person in the U.S. who could qualify for an Irish passport decided to get one and vote no – would it be fair that all of these people would have the same say as those living, working, and contributing in Ireland?

        1. Nej

          Soooo… your argument boils down to “The people who left for whatever reasons are not allowed to vote in case they might improve things at home and eventually return home” ?

          I dont know about you, but that seems like an awfully insular viewpoint.

          It’s not as if immigrants give up their passport and citizenship. Plus there’s the whole legally obliged to vote thing we need to talk about….

          1. Nice Anne (Dammit)

            No, in his own words, this argument boils down to:
            It’s whether we really need people who think that everyone living in Ireland is backward voting to set public policy for those of us who live here.

            So he has a chip on his sholder about people who have gone to live abroad and thinks that they see him as backwards (whatever that means) When the truth is that most people who make the time and effort to vote intend to come back to live (and love) in Ireland one day and would like to do that in as equal a nation as possible when that day comes.

      3. Anomanomanom

        if you leave the country It seems a bit stupid to have say in anything that effects people who are living here.

        1. ex pat

          I’d put it slightly differently; if you don’t pay taxes or depend on the state for support then whilst being a citizen if the state you do not have anything to lose of those taxes and supports crash the economy.

          I spent many years abroad.

      4. Padi

        IMO you should have to live with the consequences of your vote, emigrants would not. Also they generally do not contribute to the tax take (for example all US citizens must file a US tax return regardless of where they live). All people living in Ireland contribute to the running of the State via taxes (not all pay income taxes but everyone incurs VAT, duties etc).

      5. realPolithicks

        I have to disagree, it seems reasonable to put a time limit on voting for abroad. I left Ireland 28 years ago, I’m still an Irish citizen but I really don’t think I have any right to say what should or should not happen in Ireland.

    2. ahjayzis

      For political elections, perhaps. But this is whether my marriage, should I have one in England is recognised in my home country – I have a right to my say on that, I’m still Irish and won’t be away forever.

      1. Nice Anne (Dammit)

        ^^ This is why those who have moved abroad should still have 18 months to vote in issues that concern them.

      2. Anomanomanom

        You should have no say. It’s a little bit backward to say ok you were born here and even though we can’t prove you will ever be back we still want you to vote on important things.

        1. ahjayzis

          I’m an Irish citizen, my marriage would confer Irish citizenship on my partner, inheritance rights to property in Ireland are affected etc etc – I still have skin in the game. Far more than +/-90% of the electorate voting on this issue, if you think about it.

          1. Kieran NYC


            Referenda should be treated differently to elections when it comes to living abroad.

            Also – anyone who flies/travels back for a vote is clearly more deeply committed to the fate of the country than the lazy spa who can’t be bothered to go down to the local primary school.

    3. Effie

      What a load of tosh. I’ve been gone from Ireland for 15 months, I live in Brisbane and I’m going home to vote (with the bonus side of seeing my family and friends). Just because I chose to leave Ireland to see a bit of the world and work abroad doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to have a say in something that effects a large number of my friends at home. Emigrants should absolutely be allowed to vote in Referenda.

      And do I dare say, the “Next, a letter to Emirates to get us all home from Aussie!” was a joke, as opposed to a serious request?

    1. Mister Mister

      From Ryanair ? They’ll be left waiting.

      It’s ridiculous though, just pay your bloody fares if you want to come home, they’re not that expensive, especially if you all let Ireland to go to the lands of milk and honey with streets paved with gold.

      1. Eoghany

        Are you the CFO for Ryanair? No, you’re not. So why are you so concerned that they should pay full prices to Ryanair? Are you really that concerned for Ryanair’s balance sheet? If this campaign manages to persuade the company to provide cheaper flights for this reason, good on them.

        1. Mister Mister

          You’re very presumption aren’t you, I could be the CEO for all you know.

          You do realise that the whole operating model for Ryanair already is cheap flights ?

          And how will a person prove they’re coming home to vote in the referendum ?

          1. Eoghany

            Ah come off it now, there’s no way you’re the CFO of Ryanair! What are the chances. 1: 2,000,000?

  2. Der

    I think this is a wonderful campaign. It’s great that people have an interest in shaping the country they want return home to.
    It’s exciting that lots people here are interested in creating an equal and modern country that will in fact aid us in bringing back lots of our bothers, sisters, cousins, etc in the future.
    Fair play to them!

    1. Owen

      +1. Nice to see someone make an effort, and nice to see a positive comment unlike the rest of the cynics on here.

  3. Jane

    Does anyone think this campaign has any prospect of being effective? Well, apart from the letter writers, who presumably do…

      1. Rob_G

        Ryanair might decide to up the fares from London, Brussels and Berlin instead in anticipation of increased demand.

      1. joj

        I’d imagine it’d just turn into an excuse to bash ryanir. OMG a private airline wouldn’t sell us tickets at a loss for political reasons, who do they think they are.

        Its Aer Lingus that is the semi state airline, if anything they should (but they shouldnt anyway), what sort of business model is that.

  4. Stumpy

    ‘Next on to Emirates’ – Emirates being well known for it’s progressive social stance.

    1. Jane

      I can imagine a level of bemusement when Emirates Airlines get a “subsidise my flight home so I can vote in a referendum your organisation never heard of/couldn’t care less about” letter.

    1. ahyeah


      Not sure these little stunts do the campaign any good. Make it all look like a great big bout of student giddiness.

  5. Custo

    Dear Joey, Jennifer, Amy & Aoife,





    1. Mani

      It’s a wonderful kind of Enid Blyton naivety.

      Timmy: ‘We’ll put on a show! There’ll be balloon animals and singing and dancing. We’ll raise the money we need to save the community hall from demolition. Captain Blackheart will have to build his children’s cancer hospital elsewhere!’
      Everyone ‘Yippee’

  6. Matt

    Saw a comment on here the other day about videos about the referendum being stupid and ineffective and a waste.

    See comments here about this being stupid and ineffective and a waste.

    Thing is, we’ll never know what will be stupid or ineffective or a waste, so at least people are trying to do something, trying to work within a system that strips them of their right to vote, perhaps trying to highlight this fact to other emigrants who mightn’t be aware.

    But yeah, I guess these people are just vapid and juvenile. OBVIOUSLY it won’t result in cheap tickets home, but it gets people talking and that’s what this campaign is going to be about, getting every possible yes voter in the position where they can vote yes. Emigrants might see this letter, go to this stupid ineffective wasteful organisation’s website and find out more about how lots of people are going home and why they should too. Might even spark a wider discussion about emigrant voting circumstances.

    People talk about these things as if it’s either or. Stop making videos and go knocking. Stop doing publicity and only do small scale one-on-one interactions. Thing is, there are absolutely loads of groups and organisations that have been set up to promote a yes vote in their own way. There are still people knocking and canvassing and raising money and going to hopefully the last march for marriage and inviting their family to come with them and talking to their families and convincing them etc. It’s a cumulative effort.

    1. Stumpy

      There’s some validity to your point re. raising the ‘Yes’ campaign profile, but wouldn’t time and effort be better spent doing so in a way that isn’t vapid and juvenile?

        1. Stumpy

          Point conceded, Fluffy. I just think it’s a shame we have to resort to the simplistic and idiotic to further a just cause.

      1. Matt

        Don’t really know what else people can do from abroad though other than try make it as easy as possible to come home?

        Don’t really think it’s juvenile to set up a group to do so, purchase a website, sink time into graphics and getting the word out there to people abroad.

        So many people I know who have emigrated have been marriage equality campaigners for years, since before this government came into power. It’s a constant fight for equality which adapts when circumstances change and in these circumstances this is what they think is the best use of getting what they know will be guaranteed yeses home to vote where they otherwise wouldn’t. Can’t really go around knocking door to door if you’re living in another country

          1. Matt

            But literally what else can they do from a different country that could guarantee some yes votes. These people I’m sure tell their friends and family to vote yes, and probably give money and change their profile pic to those twibbon yokes, but there is a limit. What they can do from their host countries is organise and drum up support and attention for the fact lots of emigrants are bothering to spend money and come home whereas people living here mightn’t bother their hole. And yeah it’s not exactly eloquent but it’s attention grabbing, taking a leaf out of Ryanair’s book

          2. Nice Anne (Dammit)

            But literally what else can they do from a different country that could guarantee some yes votes.

            Online voting. Too late for this election but certainly something that we should be pushing the political classes to think about for the future.

    2. Lorcan Nagle

      There’s an increasing level of negativity, hostility and dichotomy in the comments here, I think it’s gotten particularly bad in the last few months though. The Water protestors are describned as workshy scumbags, the vote yes people are either extremists driving the middle away or naive loonies, anyone who’s even vaguely religious worships a sky fairy, and so on.

      While I’m sure it feels fun when one is typing it out, all it does is breed more of the same, until you end up with the Youtube comments. And I hope nobody wants that.

    1. Nice Anne (Dammit)

      Non-online elections in the first world, also known for their transparancy and propriety….. (Florida, USA) (Scotland, UK) (France)

      The point being that no one way of voting in any one place is any less susceptable to corruption than any other.

      Online registration and voting would allow more people to vote more easily and take part in the democratic process. That is what we are interested in after all, isn’t it? Ensuring that the will of those who want to vote is fairly represented.

      Or do you just want to make snippy remarks about third world countries?

      1. Rob_G

        “Or do you just want to make snippy remarks about third world countries?”

        That’s a strange interpretation to take from that; maybe I thought Casey’s point was a bit over-simplified?

        1. Nice Anne (Dammit)

          I thought that your dismissal of a progressive idea that has worked for Australia, parts of the US, Canada, Norway, Estonia, Belgium and Switzerland was short-sighted.

          Sure there are corrupt 3rd world countries but their electoral process would have been open to manipulation if it was on-line or off line.

          This is all measured year on year for every country here:

          In 2012 Ireland was rated 25th out of 176 in Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perceptions Index. This was worse than average for Western Europe, 11th worst of all the EU member states. (Manual voting)

          For Cameroon – The Corruption Perceptions Index (2014) by Transparency International ranked Cameroon 136 out of 175 countries and found that the police are seen by Cameroonians as the most corrupt institution in the government. (Manual Voting)

          Here is how we stack up against countries that do online voting:
          (The higher the score, the more transparant and trustable the election process)
          Norway Score 86 Rank 5
          Switzerland Score 86 Rank 5
          Canada Score 81 Rank 10
          Australia Score 80 Rank 11
          Belgium Score 76 Rank 15
          United States Score 74 Rank 17
          Ireland Score 74 Rank 17
          Estonia Score 69 Rank 26

          So it would seem, where the political process did not have a precident for being corrupt, onlike voting did not introduce that behaviour into the political system.

  7. bllllllllllllaaaaaaaaaaaaa

    the guys going ‘oh yeah like ryanair are going to give you free flights’ are such PR geniuses – yeah, because free flights is the whole point of sending this to Broadsheet.

  8. Grouse

    I suspect it would be a lot more effective to try convincing students and younger people still registered in their home counties to return home to vote. Based on anecdotal experience, it seems like there’s always a lot of people who don’t bother reregistering after moving to the big smoke.

    1. Matt

      But there are organisations here doing that. In fact when a UCDSU video was put on broadsheet last week encouraging young people and students to vote it was derided as hipster nonsense. Some people have something smart to say about everything

      1. Grouse

        I didn’t think that particular video contained much stronger a message than the urge to vote (i.e. implied rather than stated: “travel to vote”, “go out of your way to vote”, etc). Whereas “get on a ferry” is a very specific message to a (fairly?) small subset of people who would consider doing so.

        Anyway, I don’t think it’s totally reasonable to get angry at the commenters on Broadsheet (although I often do myself). Many are irreverent, cynical, wilfully obtuse, socially ignorant. Many support a no vote and so of course are going to sow dissent under various guises. A majority seem to have a near-paralysing fear of hipsters, for unspecified reasons, and invoke the word even to describe perfectly ordinary and earnest videos like the one you mention. You can’t control the commenters here, or argue them into engaging in good faith. It’s getting annoyed you can’t herd cats.

    1. Grouse

      That’s why I prefaced the whole thing with “I suspect”. I even included “it seems” for good measure.

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