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European election candidates to take part in Waterford IT debate

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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European election candidates to take part in Waterford debate

European election candidates to take part in Waterford IT debate

A lecturer at Waterford Institute of Technology is behind a European Parliament candidates’ debate on Friday, April 5, running from 11am-12.30pm at the main auditorium in the main campus.

Expected on the day are Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael MEP; Liadh Ni Riada, Sinn Fein MEP; Malcolm Byrne, Fianna Fail candidate; Grace O'Sullivan, Senator, Green Party Candidate; Adrienne Wallace, People Before Profit candidate.

Gerry Arthurs, a lecturer in International Relations & Politics, says he is organising the event as a way to encourage students and younger demographic to engage and vote.

“The European Parliament Elections at the end of May are shaping up to be the most consequential in a generation - the fallout from the Brexit debacle, the rise of nationalist and populist parties, Europe's relationship with Presidents Trump and Putin - all make this an election that has far-reaching consequences,” he says.

“Ireland's voice is strong in Europe and this is young people’s chance to use their voice and to use their vote. However, voter turnout for EP elections is traditionally lower when compared to national elections - and, in particular, younger voters participate far less than older generations. If those aged between 18-25 had exercised their vote in the 2016 Brexit referendum, the result would have been very different.”

“This WIT event gives voters the chance to ask questions of those who are asking for your vote in May,” he says.

The European Parliament office will have a stand outside the event to support their #thistimeimvoting promotion and the European Movement will also have a stand to answer any EU-related questions people might have.

No registration is necessary.