By Joleen Murphy
A South East government Senator has called for the voting age to be lowered to 16 for the local and European elections in 2024.
Wexford's Malcolm Byrne says it could play a part in getting younger people more engaged with politics.
Lowering the voting age for general or presidential elections, or for referendums, would require a referendum in itself.
But Senator Malcolm Byrne says for the locals and Europeans this could be done through legislation.
"That is what happens in a number of other countries.
"In Austria where they reduced the voting age, they started with the local elections and the age was reduced to 15 years of age.
"In Belgium, they have now also now decided to introduce it for local and European elections and I think if we see it working in those circumstances then we could obviously look at extending."
Malcolm Byrne has introduced a bill for the voting age to change to 16 for local and European elections in Ireland.
Changing the age for Dáil or Presidential elections would require a referendum.
He says the move would help to increase the amount of young people engaging with politics.
"I have certainly found that young have a real interest in issues.
"Whether it is on climate change, human rights, the cost of car insurance or as we have seen recently in the terms of the Irish Secondary Students Union and how active they were around the discussion on the Leaving Cert.
"Young people are passionate about issues and I think we should look at ways to encourage younger people to take part more in society.
"Not just in voting but in everything that we do."