Marriage Referendum

All the latest news as voters head to the polls

Aine McMahon Fri, May 22
LIVE: Marriage Referendum

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  • 09:04

    Good morning Irish voters, it's referendum day!  

    I'll be here through the morning and afternoon bringing you all the latest news on the marriage referendum as voters across Ireland head to the polls. Please get in touch with your tweets, pictures and comments at @SorchaPollak or


  • 09:20

    Some of you enthusiastic early risers may have already been out to vote this morning. For those of you who have yet to head to the polls, and especially for the many first time voters taking part in this referendum, here's a guide from our video team on how to vote today.  

  • 09:24
  • 09:26
  • 09:31

    Ruadhán Mac Cormaic, our legal affairs correspondent, has jotted down the most important points to remember when voting in today's Marriage Referendum.

    Most importantly, what are we voting on?

    Voters will be asked whether the Constitution should be changed so as to extend civil marriage rights to same-sex couples. The proposed amendment to article 41 is the insertion of the line: “Marriage may be contracted in accordance with law by two persons without distinction as to their sex.”

    The Irish version, which takes precedence, reads: “Féadfaidh beirt, gan beann ar a ngnéas, conradh pósta a dhéanamh de réir dlí.”

    If the proposal is passed, a marriage between two people of the same sex will have the same status under the Constitution as a marriage between a man and a woman.

  • 09:33

    Will a Yes vote redefine marriage?

    The Constitution doesn’t define marriage, and the amendment doesn’t introduce a definition. In the absence of a constitutional definition, the Referendum Commission explains, the generally accepted common law definition of marriage is “the voluntary union of one man and one woman, to the exclusion of all others”.

    This definition has been adopted by the Irish courts on a number of occasions.

    A Yes vote would redefine the view as to who can marry by extending the right to same-sex couples.

  • 09:36

    Messages from Twitter are already reporting a busy turnout at polling stations around Dublin. What’s it like outside the capital?  

  • 09:50
    <p>Ireland is in the international spotlight today with news agencies around the world covering the Marriage Referendum. Here's the New York Times’ homepage this morning.   </p>

    Ireland is in the international spotlight today with news agencies around the world covering the Marriage Referendum. Here's the New York Times’ homepage this morning.  

  • 09:57
    The New York Times is also running a series of opinion pieces from Irish writers and activists on today’s referendum. Here’s human rights lawyer Maeve O’Rourke on the ‘New Generation of Irish Catholics in Ireland’ who says “being Catholic in Ireland today does not necessarily mean believing in all of the church’s teachings”.
  • 10:01

    The NY Times also has a piece in the debate section from Oliver P Rafferty, a Jesuit priest working at Boston College:

    “Irish Catholicism can perhaps emerge as a more caring less overtly dogmatic and oppressive feature of the Irish landscape. Its focus might be more concentrated on ministering to peoples’ actual needs than on wielding power in Irish society.

    "If the church learns that lesson from the loss of the gay marriage referendum its defeat may not, after all, represent its Waterloo.”

  • 10:02
    For those who were wondering about the bibles...
  • 10:04
  • 10:07
    Enda O'Dowd from the Irish Times video team was up at the crack of dawn to meet Irish voters arriving in on the ferry at Dublin Port this morning.  
  • 10:15

    Just a reminder to voters heading to the polling stations:

    The white paper is for the marriage referendum  (remember white for wedding)

    The green paper is for the age of presidential candidates  (remember green for Ireland/president in Phoenix Park)

  • 10:22
  • 10:24
    Even Hozier is jumping on the #hometovote bandwagon  
  • 10:30

    Voting on the islands

    Irish islanders on 12 offshore islands were among the first to vote in the marriage referendum with some 2,100 registered voters on the Donegal, Mayo and Galway islands obliged to cast their ballots a day in advance.

    Lorna Siggins has reported that turnout on the coast was low and slow up until tea time yesterday, with some estimates as low as 20 per cent, but a late flurry of activity after evening ferries pushed it over 50 per cent in several stations.

    At tea-time, Galway county registrar and returning officer Marian Chambers-Higgins recorded 20 per cent turnout on Inis Meáín, with 25 per cent on Inis Oírr and Inis Mór.

    However, Inis Oírr presiding officer Padraic Ó Conghaíle estimated it could reach 50 per cent by closing time at 10pm.

    Inishbofin was also reporting almost 70 per cent close to closing time.

    Canvassing in the marriage equality referendum didn’t extend to many of the communities - but islands tend to get forgotten about in referenda, several presiding officers noted.

    “And there’s a wider Government indifference to us out here,”one of the officers observed.

    Inishbofin manager Simon Murray said it was the “best referendum ever, with not a poster to be seen”. “It’s great that people can be left alone to decide for themselves for once."

  • 10:33
  • 10:39
    Damian Cullen is reporting a very busy turnout at the polling station in Thurles in Co Tipperary this morning. He says it’s far busier than any other referendums or elections over the past few years.   
    Damian Cullen is reporting a very busy turnout at the polling station in Thurles in Co Tipperary this morning. He says it’s far busier than any other referendums or elections over the past few years.  
  • 10:42

    The Irish Times is offering Irish citizens living overseas who are unable to vote in today’s referendum the chance to cast a “virtual vote” in our poll.

    After you’ve voted, let us know how you feel observing the referendum coverage from abroad. Do you feel strongly about the issues in question? Have you been contributing to the debates on social media, or in other ways? How do you feel about not being able to have your say?

  • 10:55

    The New Yorker’s editorial on the same-sex marriage referendum.

    “Ireland would not be the only country in Europe with marriage equality. It came to the Netherlands, in 2001; Belgium, in 2003; Spain and Portugal, in 2005; Norway, Sweden, and Iceland, in 2010; Denmark, in 2012; France, in 2013; and it goes into effect in Finland in 2017.

    Since 2013, it has been legal in most of the United Kingdom, though not in Northern Ireland.

    Ireland is its own sort of icon among nations, as a very Catholic country where homosexuality was criminal until 1993 and divorce wasn’t available until 1997. If the Irish can vote “Yes,” the thought goes, anyone can.

    If Ireland votes Yes it will, as Kenny said, be a joyous and momentous day—and the Irish should be proud. But that shouldn’t leave America with an Ireland-referendum inferiority complex. We can get to equality our own way.”

  • 10:56
  • 11:04
  • 11:14
  • 11:19

    Here’s some more from Ruadhán Mac Cormaic on the legal implications of the marriage referendum.

    We already have civil partnerships. What’s different about civil marriage?

    Civil partnership was introduced in Ireland in 2010 to give same-sex couples similar legal protection to married couples. More than 1,000 same-sex couples have availed of it. They enjoy extensive rights that are similar or identical to those of married couples in areas such as property, tax, social welfare, maintenance, immigration and pensions.

    Some of the differences between partnership and marriage have been eliminated by the Children and Family Relationships Act, which was signed into law in April, notably those relating to adoption and guardianship. About 20 legal gaps remain. The main difference is that a married couple enjoy constitutional as well as legal protection. Civil partners only enjoy legal protection.

    Legal protection can be taken away, amended or reduced by an Act of the Oirechtas. Constitutional protection can only be taken away by a vote of the people. Moreover, a married couple enjoy the constitutional protection given to the family.

    What does that mean?

    The family, under the Constitution, is given special status and certain rights. “Essentially what it means is a married couple cannot be treated less well than an unmarried couple,” says Mr Justice Kevin Cross the chairman of the independent Referendum Commission. “That has applied in the past in certain cases in relation to taxation, social welfare and the like. A married couple have a legal status that cannot be disimproved vis-a- vis the unmarried couple.”

    Will civil partnership still exist if the referendum is passed?

    There will be no new civil partnerships. Existing civil partners will retain that status and the rights, privileges, obligations and liabilities that go with it unless they choose to marry. Whether they marry is up to them. If they do, their civil partnership will be dissolved.


  • 11:20
  • 11:50

    Ciara Kenny, the mastermind behind Generation Emigration, has been keeping an eye on the #HomeToVote campaign and the thousands of Irish emigrants arriving back in Ireland to vote in today’s referendum.

    "The hashtag #HomeToVote was trending on Twitter last night, as people posted photos and messages from planes, trains, buses and boats as they travelled back to Ireland from as far away as Canada, Australia, Africa and Asia.

    Under Irish electoral law, Irish citizens living abroad retain their right to vote in elections and referenda for 18 months after leaving Ireland, if they intend to return to live here within that timeframe. There is no postal vote facility however, meaning if they do want to cast a ballot, they must travel back to Ireland to do so.

    Joey Kavanagh, an arts administrator who moved to London last summer, said the lack of voting rights for the Irish abroad means the majority of people who have emigrated in recent years won’t be able to have their say. But more than 300 have signed up to the Get the Boat 2 Vote campaign in the run up to the referendums, and he believes hundreds, if not thousands more have travelled home independently.

    “Travelling on the day of the referendum is not the most practical for everyone in terms of making it to the polls, but we wanted to make a point of going on the day in defiance of the barriers to our participation.”"  

  • 11:50
  • 11:54
    Dylan Haskins who is travelling from London to Holyhead en route to Dublin on the "equality train" just posted this video.  
  • 12:00
    Joan Burton is busy sorting out her polling station selfie. Remember, only take selfies OUTSIDE the polling station. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins  
    Joan Burton is busy sorting out her polling station selfie. Remember, only take selfies OUTSIDE the polling station. Photograph: Colin Keegan/Collins  
  • 12:08
  • 12:21
    Voting continues in central Dublin. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters
    Voting continues in central Dublin. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters
  • 12:26

    The Guardian is keeping an eye on Northern Ireland as we wait to find out the outcome of today’s marriage referendum. Henry McDonald reports:

    "Northern Ireland is closely watching for the outcome of Friday’s Irish vote on gay marriage, knowing that if as expected the yes vote prevails it would stick out as the last bastion of homophobia in the British isles.
    And it’s a bastion that will soon come under threat. A gay couple who married in England have already signalled that they will mount a legal challenge against the ban in the north.

    “They have asked the family court to make a declaration that their marriage was lawfully constituted at inception and that it remains lawful in Northern Ireland,” said Gavin Boyd, a Belfast-based activist with the Rainbow Project, one of Northern Ireland’s main gay rights organisations. The case will next be heard in November.

    Sinn Féin has tried on several occasions to push a gay marriage bill through the regional assembly in Stormont, but has been blocked by the Democratic Unionists, the largest party in the province. Gay marriage became legal in England, Scotland and Wales in 2014."

  • 12:34
  • 12:40

    Why are there bibles in polling stations?

    Many voters in the referendums have been struck by the presence of bibles in polling stations.

    This has set many people wondering why there would be literature of any kind inside an official polling station, with others worried about the potential bias of having a bible in the same place as where people will be voting on the same-sex marriage bill.

    According to a spokesman for the Department of the Environment explains, it is a “legal requirement” for a bible to be present in all polling stations, and indeed is standard practice for every referendum and election.

    The main reason is that if someone turns up to vote without ID or a polling card, the bible is at hand for the person to swear on as to their identity.

  • 12:54
  • 12:59
    A group of London Irish before they set off from Euston Station this morning to travel home by train and boat to vote. Photograph: Dylan Haskins
    A group of London Irish before they set off from Euston Station this morning to travel home by train and boat to vote. Photograph: Dylan Haskins
  • 13:02
  • 13:13

    A reminder that will have full coverage of the referendum and byelection counts tomorrow.

    Hugh Linehan and Dan Griffin will bring you up-to-the minute news on the live blog from when counting starts at 9am on Saturday until the final results are complete.

    Ballots for the same-sex marriage referendum will be counted first, followed by ballots for the referendum on the age of presidential eligibility and finally, the votes for the byelection.

    First results for the same-sex marriage referendum are expected to emerge around mid-morning with a result becoming clear at lunchtime. Results in the presidential age referendum are expected to emerge around mid-afternoon with the byelection result expected on Saturday evening.

  • 13:16
  • 13:20
  • 13:23
    Photograph: Elaine Edwards
    Photograph: Elaine Edwards
  • 13:36

    Marie O’Halloran is reporting that turnout at today’s referendum on same sex marriage and the age of candidates for the presidency is higher so far than in the last referendum.

    Some urban areas estimated that 20 per cent of the electorate have already cast their vote but voting is slower in many rural areas.

    In Sandymount on the capital’s southside around 12 noon an estimated 20 per cent of the electorate had voted, mixed in age but pre-dominantly older voters in the Dublin South-East constituency.

    In Darndale on the city’s northside polling was quiet in the Dublin North Central constituency. This constituency is consistently in the top three for voter turnout at both general and local elections and referendums.

    In Castletownbere in Cork South West voting was described as a little bit better than in previous referendums but not as high as in the general election.

    The rural town with some 1,200 voters has a large number of expatriate residents, who are ineligible to vote because they are not citizens.

    In parts of Galway city turnout was described as brisk with one station in the city centre reporting a 16 per cent turnout.

    In Donegal South-West polling has been described as slow.

    Turnout in the last referendum on the abolition of the Seanad was less than 40 per cent.

  • 13:40
  • 13:42
  • 14:22
  • 14:27
    Latest update from the #hometovote boat crew who have made it to the ferry and are on the final stretch home. Photograph: Ruairí Sparks  
    Latest update from the #hometovote boat crew who have made it to the ferry and are on the final stretch home. Photograph: Ruairí Sparks  
  • 14:36

    Looking for an environmentally friendly way to get rid of all those campaign posters when the referendum result comes through tomorrow?

    Kaethe Burt O’Dea from the environmental group the Bí project is calling on all Yes and No campaigners to keep the buzz going by allowing the posters to be recycled.

    Using a simple folding technique, the posters can be recycled to house new swarms of bees in urban gardens over the summer months.  Ms Burt-O’Dea said the posters were ideal for this purpose because they were made of durable and resilient outdoor material.

    The Bí project is holding an event on Monday, June 1st, in Smithfield, Dublin, to show people how to transform the referendum posters.

    The Smithfield event will also involve seed bombing, where little balls of clay, compost and native wildflower seeds will be flung over fences into disused areas to attract and nourish urban bees.

  • 15:04
    A number of people have reportedly left flowers and candles in Fairview park in memory of 31-year-old Declan Flynn who was killed for being gay by a gang in the park in 1982. Dublin's first ever gay pride parade was subsequently held in 1983.
  • 15:06
  • 15:16

    Correction from early posting on bibles in polling stations:

    According to the Department of the Environment, under a long-standing practice, a bible is provided to all returning officers as part of their electoral pack for elections and referendums.

    A spokesman for the Department said there was no obligation on anyone to swear an oath with the bible and its presence in polling stations was not intended to cause offence.

  • 15:19
  • 15:33
  • 15:46
    <p>Linda Cullen and Feargha Ni Bhroan with twins, Tess and Rosa Cullen-Byrne, after voting in Monkstown polling station in the marriage referendum. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times</p>

    Linda Cullen and Feargha Ni Bhroan with twins, Tess and Rosa Cullen-Byrne, after voting in Monkstown polling station in the marriage referendum. Photograph: Cyril Byrne /The Irish Times

  • 15:56

    The New York Times put a call out on Facebook this week for readers who live in Ireland to describe how they feel about today’s same-sex referendum.

    Here are some of the responses they got:

    It’s been unbelievably hard on a lot of us. I felt the soul-destroying moment when I couldn’t convince my best friend to vote yes. We’re both 31, so to say it’s a surprise is a massive understatement.
    - Nikki Carney

    Only got home today from college to discuss it with my parents. I didn’t know what they were voting beforehand, but after a long rant of mine in which I criticized all the irrelevant rubbish that the no campaign is attempting to scare people with, I think it’s safe to say they are both voting yes, and I couldn’t be more proud.
    - Michael Walker

    Vote no to protect the future for our kids. Ban the sale of wardrobes or put a large tax on them. Nobody can come out then.
    - John Delaney

    I will be voting YES tomorrow. Who am I to decide who (consenting adults) marries who? Plus my 7-year-old daughter cannot understand why anyone would vote no. We can all learn from children like her.
    - Avril O’Sullivan

  • 15:58
  • 16:05
    I'm finishing up for the day and passing live-blog duties over to Hugh Linehan. Keep voting folks, there's still six hours to go.  
  • 16:12
    Good afternoon. Hugh Linehan here, taking over the liveblog reins for a while. Thanks to Sorcha Pollak for keeping the updates flowing throughout the day. Here's an interesting though from my colleague, Paul Cullen.

  • 16:15
    Here's a remarkable tweet from Fiach Kelly. If true, it would be extraordinary.

  • 16:17
    There's obviously something in the Tipperary water today....

  • 16:27

  • 16:29
    There's been some debate today about the actual impact in real terms of the #hometovote campaign, but there's no doubting its impact across the internet. For example:

  • 16:35
    More news from Tipp:

  • 16:44
    Fintan O'Toole has published a piece on the Guardian on what's happening in Ireland this week, and the questions it raises for our friends across the water.

    ' If, this evening, Ireland does declare itself the first state in the world fully to embrace its gay and lesbian citizens by free popular vote, it won’t be by accident. For two decades now, Irish people have been going through the difficult, painful but deeply democratic process of disentangling church and state. It’s a hard and bumpy road, but we’ve stayed with the journey – and maybe tonight it will reach at least one joyful conclusion. Even if it doesn’t, we know that this process has had at least one good outcome: Irish people have ditched Anglophobia. The religious divide does not separate us any more.

    Most Irish people are too polite to ask this question – but where’s England in all of this? It’s nice to be patted on the head and told how well we Irish are doing with “moving on” from the divisions of the Reformation. But how are you folks doing with this yourselves?'

    Read the whole article here.
  • 16:50

  • 16:54

    Some of these turnout predictions, if true (which is a big if), will overturn received wisdom about voter behaviour in referendums, and obviously could have a profound impact on the result tomorrow.



  • 16:59
    I'm handing over now to Aine McMahon, who'll be continuing our live coverage throughout the evening. I'll be back tomorrow before 9am, to follow every twist and turn as the votes are counted. Until then, from me, Hugh Linehan, goodbye.
  • 17:13

  • 17:15
    Good evening, Aine McMahon here on the live blog for the evening. You can tweet me @AineMcMahon if you have any suggestions or comments.

    Will try to keep the "Tea Time Rush" tweets to a minimum!
  • 17:18

  • 17:23

    Over on the, they have curated a list of the best polling booth election pick up lines from Twitter.

     What a time to be alive.

     The hashtag is #PollingBoothPickUpLines if you're so inclined.

  • 17:25

    Has the #TeaTimeRush begun in earnest? To the comments!  


  • 17:30

    Voting becomes a habit it would appear. Sorry.  


  • 17:35
  • 17:38
  • 17:43
  • 17:52

    Twitter have said there were 48,000 #HomeToVote tweets in just 24 hours.  



  • 17:58

    With the news that 48,000 #HomeToVote were sent in the past 24 hours. our Legal Affairs Correspondent,  Ruadhán Mac Cormaic explains how  Irish citizens living abroad retain their right to vote in elections and referenda for 18 months after leaving Ireland.  

    "Social media has been ablaze today with stories of Irish emigrants returning home to vote in the marriage referendum. But Ireland doesn’t allow emigrants to vote. So are they all breaking the law?

    Not necessarily. Under the Electoral Act 1992, an Irish citizen can vote if he/she has been living outside the State for less than 18 months and intends to “resume residence” in Ireland within that timeframe. On this, the State relies on people’s good faith. The law states that, unless there is evidence to the contrary, the authorities will accept a statement to the effect that the voter intends to return to live in the State within 18 months of leaving.

    We asked the Department of the Environment whether the onus was on the individual or the State to remove an emigrant’s name from the register. In response, we were told that the preparation of the Register of Electors is a matter for each local authority. “It is their duty to ensure, as far as possible and with the cooperation of the public, the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the Register,” a spokesman said. “This involves the carrying out of house-to-house or other local enquiries, including in many cases delivering registration forms to households for completion.
    But the individual isn’t off the hook, and breaking these rules is an offence. The Act provides that anyone who fails or refuses to give information that may be required by a county registrar, or gives false information, is liable on summary conviction to a fine of up to €634.87 and/or imprisonment for up to three months."

  • 17:59
  • 18:09
  • 18:11

    The eyes of the world are on Ireland for the referendum. Channel 4 have this package below.  


  • 18:21
  • 18:25

    *Tea time rush klaxon*  


  • 18:26
  • 18:32

    Dustin the Turkey - not voting for Christmas.  



  • 18:44
  • 18:46
  • 18:46
  • 18:47
  • 18:58
    You have just three hours left to vote if you have not already done so. Polling stations close at 10pm.  
  • 19:06
  • 19:12

    An Irish man living in Edinburgh who thought he wasn't registered to vote but then found out he was, has been tweeting his escapades as he tries to get home in time to Dublin to vote.  


  • 19:14
  • 19:15
  • 19:18

    US Actor Zach Braff, one half of the original bromance of JD and Turk in Scrubs, calls for a Yes vote.  


  • 19:22
    Vincent Boland has a piece on the Financial Times website about the marriage referendum. It's not behind a paywall so you can  click here to read it.  
  • 19:30
    Turnout in the first national referendum to legalise same-sex marriage and on the age of candidates for the presidency has been reported at more than 40 per cent in many urban areas by teatime. More here.
  • 19:40
  • 19:55
  • 19:57

    A reminder that there are just two hours left to vote. Polling stations close at 10pm.  

    If you have any suggestions/photos/high turnout figures from your area/ comments for the blog, tweet me @AineMcMahon  

  • 20:10
  • 20:15

    Our man in Berlin, Derek Scally has this piece on the marriage referendum published on Die Zeit but it's only for those you who spekken Deutsche.  

    Read it here.  

  • 20:17

    Des Bishop is currently driving around Dublin to bring voters to polling stations.  


  • 20:19

    This is one of the highest turn out figures I've seen so far. If you dear readers see any more, let me know. @AineMcMahon  


  • 20:24
  • 20:30
  • 20:44

    Our Southern Correspondent Barry Roche has the latest on voter turnout in Cork  

     "In both Cork city and county, turnout appears to be high with most polling stations reporting that turnout is set to at least match if not exceed the last referendum on the abolition of the Senate. In rural Bartlemy near Fermoy in Cork East, turnout at 7pm was hitting 45pc which was higher than usual with another notable feature being a high turnout of young votes. Around Bandon in Cork South West, voting has been brisk all day and higher than is usual for a referendum with some booths reporting turnouts similar to those of a general election. In Clonakilty also in Cork South West, a similar pattern was emerging with some booths in Clonakilty town reporting a turnout of 32pc by 5pm while in Lisavaird outside the town it was at 41pc by 7pm.

    Meanwhile back in the city in Blackpool in Cork North Central, turnout was also strong with 40pc votin by 7pm with a good mixture of voters but in particular older voters. In nearby Mayfield, voter turnout was averaging 46pc at 7pm even though some boxes had reached 52pc and while there more younger voters coming out, it wasn’t notable as a very strong trend."

  • 20:53
    There's just over ONE HOUR left to vote. Polling stations close at 10pm, tick tock.  
  • 21:18
    Political correspondent Fiach Kelly has this round up of voter tunout this evening.

    "Turnout for the same-sex marriage referendum and the referendum to reduce the age eligibility for presidential candidates was higher in urban areas last night, but was generally up on voting in recent referendums across the country.

    In Dublin and some parts of Cork, many TDs privately said the final turnout figure could reach over 70 per cent.
    Kevin Humphreys, Labour TD for Dublin South East and Minister of State at the Department of Social Protection, said turnout was high across working class and middle class areas in his constituency.

    Mr Humphreys also said turnout was exceeding levels seen at the last general election in 2011.
    Returning officers in Dublin said they expected turnout to inch towards 70 per cent or more in some areas.
    In Dublin county, turnout in Skerries stood at 52 per cent at 6pm and was expected to reach as high as 70 per cent. In Brittas, also in Dublin, turnout was at 45 per cent in the early evening.
    There was also a high turnout of those on the supplementary register, with 80 per cent of those who added themselves on the register turning out in Killester, Dublin, as of 8pm last night.

    At 6pm, 65 per cent of those who went on the supplementary register had cast their votes by 6.30pm, with a 50 per cent turnout in the constituency at that time.
    At 7pm the turnout across Cork city was above 40 per cent, and rising to 50 per cent in Cork South-Central.
    Turnout across Galway city was also up on its usual referendum standards, and stood around 35 per cent in the early evening. Rural areas in east Galway were not as busy, standing at 20 per cent at the same time.
    In Mayo, the turnout at 8pm in Castlebar was 46 per cent, 47 per cent in Claremorris, 50 per cent in Westport and 40 per cent in Ballina.
    In Limerick city, turnout at 5pm was about 35 per cent and almost 40 per cent in Limerick count at the same time.
    In Donegal town, the turnout at tea time was 30 per cent with 28 per cent turning out in Letterkenny at the same time. Cavan Monaghan also reported an early evening turnout around 30 per cent, which rose to 35 per cent in towns like Ballyjamesduff, where there is a Dublin commuter population.
    Officials in Tipperary reported turnout at 40 per cent between 5pm and 6pm, a figure they expected to rise substantially before polls closed.
    In Laois, the early evening turnout in both rural areas and in towns hovered around 30 per cent.
    In Kilkenny city – where voting is also taking place for a by-election – the turnout in some areas was 54 per cent at 7pm.
    In Kerry, turnout was also described as brisk and stood around 30 per cent at 5pm which was higher than previous referendums.
    Turnout across Wexford was at the same levels around teatime, but activity at polling stations was up on other referendums.
  • 21:29
    RTE reporting that turnout is at around 50-60 per cent across the country, here.
  • 21:32
  • 21:33
    International media can't get enough of the voting nun pics either!
  • 21:34
    You have just under half an hour left to vote. Run along now!  
  • 21:37
    There are no exit polls on the referenda tonight. Voting closes at 10pm.  
  • 21:39
    Could it be?
  • 21:43

    Social media has played a significant role in shaping the debate and mobilising voters in the same-sex marriage referendum, according to preliminary figures compiled by campaigns, writes Political Correspondent Harry McGee.  

    Evidence suggests that, for the first time in an Irish poll, social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been as influential in the referendum campaign as traditional media.  

    More here.  

  • 21:44
  • 21:44
  • 21:48
  • 21:50
  • 21:51
    You have less than ten minutes to vote. Hop to it.  
  • 21:58
  • 22:00


  • 22:05
    Well done Ireland, go to the top of the class. ´
  • 22:09
  • 22:14

    Voting finished at 10pm tonight, so what happens next?  

    Counting will begin in centres across the country from 9am on Saturday morning but the official result will be declared in Dublin Castle by the National Returning Officer.  

  • 22:18
    I'm almost done here tonight but Hugh Linehan will pick up the baton from 8.30 tomorrow morning.
  • 22:18
  • 22:20
  • 22:25
    Cutting it fine!
  • 22:26

    2000 people will be allowed into the courtyard of Dublin Castle tomorrow where the results of the referenda will be declared.  


  • 22:33

    We'll leave it there tonight, thanks for following.  

    Hugh Linehan will be back here tomorrow morning when counting will begin.  

    I'll leave you with this piece from Miriam Lord.