Referendum result: ‘We must reject any upper age limit to vote’

Eddie Lynch
Eddie Lynch

Any suggestion that there should be an upper age limit on the right to vote should be “challenged and rejected,” according to a spokesman for a public body which campaigns for the rights of the elderly.

Eddie Lynch, Commissioner for Older People in Northern Ireland, said he had been left “appalled” by the suggestion that there should be a cut off point for eligibility following the EU referendum result.

In a statement, he said he had “listened to much commentary in the aftermath of the Brexit vote and have become increasingly concerned about some of the language and comments being made about older people in relation to the referendum result”.

He did not state who had made such a call for a curb on the right to vote.

He added: “I am absolutely committed to everyone’s freedom of expression but I would ask people to consider the tone of what they are saying and the impact of ageist language on older people.”

He also said that it was a “myth that older people all voted one way” – adding that about 40 per cent of “older people” voted Remain.

The commissioner said the term “older people” is defined by legislation as including those aged 60 and over (although in “exceptional circumstances,” it can also mean those aged 50-plus).