A Corkman who feels he was forced out of the country by the housing crisis has hit out at legislation that prevents him from voting in today’s election.
Joseph Sexton, who has been living in Galicia in northwest Spain for the past year, said he was forced to emigration in order to ensure a good quality of life for himself.
The Cork native, who is a former sportswriter with The Echo and Irish Examiner, said that the move to Spain followed a good job offer in Dublin, which he could not fulfill due to the escalating rents.
Mr Sexton said he had many Spanish friends who voted in recent Spanish elections while staying in Ireland and said that he would have liked to be able to vote today.
If you are an Irish citizen living abroad, and you have lived — or intend to live — abroad for more than 18 months, you cannot be added to the Register of Electors,” he said.
Mr Sexton said he felt forced out of his country and said he was annoyed that his voice does not count.
“I think the vote of people who have emigrated should count. It is frustrating.”
“I can’t vote for politicians that I feel can change things,” he said.
Mr Sexton told The Echo that high rents for low-quality accommodation forced him to assess his quality of life in Ireland.
The journalist said that he would prefer to go to Spain, despite earning less money, and live a better lifestyle, than stay in Ireland.
“I was forced out by the housing crisis and now, because I am not living in Ireland, I don’t get to vote,” said Mr Sexton.
“I don’t have a say in the elections.”