Cork City council is encouraging immigrants, including those living in Direct provision, to vote in this May's local elections.
Anyone living in Cork city or county are entitled to vote in the elections that will pick the councillors to serve five-year terms on Cork city and county councils.
City Hall's ‘Shape Your City: Use Your Vote’ initiative is coming to the Cork Migrant Centre at Nano Nagle Place this Friday from 11am to 1pm.
Amongst those who attend the centre on Douglas Street are asylum seekers who are living in direct provision in Cork.
Cork City Council Director of Services, Paul Moynihan said: “Cork city is becoming increasingly diverse and it is vital that our new communities engage politically if they are to feel part of our city.2
"The ‘Shape Your City: Use Your Vote’ programme is aimed at informing people new to living in the city, about how to register to vote in the local & European elections and how becoming active participants in civic life can help enrich their quality of life.”
Over the five year period since 2011, only eight counties in Ireland recorded an increase in their non-Irish national population.
Cork City saw the largest increase with non-Irish nationals making up 14.1% of those living in the city in 2016 - a rise of 17.2 per cent since 2011.
More than 42% of the population living in Cork city centre are non-Irish nationals.
Stephen Murphy, Social Inclusion Development Worker at Cork City Council said: “Cork is a City of Welcomes and with this initiative, our message today is simple: If you are living in Cork for more than six months you have a right to register to vote and we; with expert guidance from the Franchise Office in Cork City Council can help you to do that”.
Cork City Council launched its ‘Shape Your City: Use Your Vote’ initiative in the second half of last year and has held registration events at Voxpro, Johnson Controls, Healthy Ireland's WellComm event, Irish Rail and the Kino.
It is seeking to partner with more community groups, voluntary groups and businesses who can help it to increase the number of new voters in the city.