Ireland votes Yes in abortion referendum

Yes side secures landslide win with 66.4% voting to repeal the Eighth Amendment

Niamh Towey, Dan Griffin Sat, May 26
LIVE: Ireland votes Yes in abortion referendum

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  • 07:00
    It's a historic day for Ireland. Our exit poll last night predicted a 68 per cent vote to repeal the constitutional ban on abortion. A poll from RTÉ put the figure at 69 per cent. Whatever the final figure turns out to be, we can say with some confidence there will be only one result when official counting concludes today: Yes.
  • 07:08

    On a day when Ireland steps emphatically into the European mainstream, the Irish Times will have reporters at all count centres across the country.

    We will also bring you live analysis from our political team in text and on our  Inside Politics podcast, as well as reaction from around the world.

    Stick with us on Saturday afternoon and through Sunday for a full set of analysis, reaction and comment from our best columnists, correspondents and writers.

    Click here for more information on our coverage over the weekend.

  • 07:12

    Yesterday the old assumptions fell away.  

    This referendum does not represent an uprising of the young against an old Ireland; it is a fundamental rejection by the entire country of what has gone before; the final casting off of old mores, writes Fiach Kelly in his analysis of our exit poll.

  • 07:20
    How did we get here? Take a look at Kathleen Harris's video looking back at 35 years of the Eighth Amendment.
  • 07:22
  • 07:32
  • 07:33
  • 07:44
    Our exit poll showed an astonishing 87 per cent of 18-24-year-olds voted Yes.
  • 07:48

    Twitter user Ann Marie Part got in touch on Twitter last night to say she was "overwhelmed" with the outcome of the referendum. It was, she said, her 18-year-old daughter's first vote. "Historic day for Irish women.Unlike Marriage Equality though I will mark the YES majority in a low key way."

    If you'd like to get in touch with your stories, photos, reactions or anything else, please do on Twitter @dangriffinIT or by email at

  • 07:59

    Some reaction from the No campaign to last night's exit polls:

    John McGuirk said "The 8th did not create an unborn child's right to life - it merely acknowledged it. The right exists, independent of what a majority says. That said, with a result of that magnitude, clearly there was very little to be done. Thank you to every NO voter and campaigner."

    Pro-life campaign spokeswoman Cora Sherlock said: "Exit polls, if accurate, paint a very sad state of affairs tonight. But those who voted No should take heart. Abortion on demand would deal Ireland a tragic blow but the pro-life movement will rise to any challenge it faces. Let's go into tomorrow with this in mind."

    Rónán Mullen told the Irish Examiner "We know what is next, the legislation. That will be our focus now."

  • 08:01

    On the Yes side, Orla O'Connor from the National Women's Council of Ireland said today is "going to be an incredible day for women in Ireland. Thank you to every woman, man and person who voted Yes."

    Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said: "Thank you to everyone who voted today. Democracy in action. It’s looking like we will make history tomorrow..."

  • 08:03
  • 08:04
    Less than an hour until counting starts...
  • 08:07
  • 08:13

    I took the below photograph of the Savita Halappanavar mural in Dublin on my way to the office this morning.  Flowers and candles had been placed beside it overnight as well as many handwritten notes. Savita's parents urged the Irish electorate to vote yes. Nearly six years ago their daughter died due to complications of a miscarriage after being refused a termination in University Hospital Galway.

    Some of the messages read: "My yes is for you"; "Never again, we're sorry", "For you and all women".

  • 08:20
  • 08:22
  • 08:27
    According to the RTÉ poll, Fianna Fáil was the only party whose supporters rejected repeal: 49.7 per cent to 50.3 per cent. Although with margins that tight it's also possible that a small majority of members may have supported repeal. Either way, very close to 50-50.
  • 08:29
    Elaine Byrne on Twitter says 3.3 million people were registered to vote ahead of the referendum, making it the largest electorate in the history of the State. Could yesterday have been the first time in the history of the State that more than 2 million people turned out to vote on a single polling day.
  • 08:30
  • 08:33

    With less than half an hour to go until counting begins, Tallypeople at the RDS say the result will be confirmed early although a formal declaration is not expected until late afternoon, reports Marie O'Halloran.

    Counters have arrived at the RDS where boxes will be opened for five constituencies at 9am. Votes from Dublin Central, Dublin North West, Dublin Bay North, Dublin Bay South and Dublin Soith Central will be counted at the RDS.

  • 08:37

    Rick Runcie, an Irish citizen living in the mountains of southern Mexico, got in touch: "Felicidades, to the YES voters. Such a moving issue.   The NO voters have powerful arguments in their favor.  Acceptance of the vote does not necessarily mean approval of the vote.   Neither does it need to mean, resignation about the vote.   Acceptance, is something different; something for us all to learn to reconcile with each other about.   Please do not slaughter your impulse to reconcile for the common good."

  • 08:40
    "Today is mostly about the courage and integrity of women," says Colm O'Gorman of Amnesty International on RTÉ Radio 1. "I do want to commend the Government and the political system," he adds, praising the integrity across the parties and the performances during the campaign from the likes of Minister for Health Simon Harris.
  • 08:41
    If you'd like to drop me a line, please do at or on Twitter @dangriffinIT
  • 08:44
  • 08:48
    The Irish Family Planning Association has this morning called on the Government to quickly reflect the result of the referendum through legislation. “The IFPA will continue to support women who experience crisis pregnancies though whatever decision they make. But we now look forward to the time when we can offer them the care they need here in Ireland,” said the organisation's chief executive Niall Behan.
  • 08:57
    From Marie in the RDS: Eddie Conlon from Together for Yes gets huge cheer as he revs up the troops for the tally. The media went rushing to the end of the hall, such was tbe volume of cheering. The first two constituency counts will be publicly declared at the RDS. This is expected at about 1pm.   The remaining three count results will go directly to Dublin Castle for formal declaration.
  • 09:00
    Michael Healy Rae, who campaigned for a No vote, on RTÉ radio says: We live in a democracy and people voted the way they did. Now it's over to the legislators, we will have to look at exactly what the Minister brings to the Dáil. The will of the people, they have spoken and that's it.
  • 09:01
    And they're off! Counting begins in the referendum to repeal the Constitutional ban on abortion.
  • 09:07
  • 09:07
  • 09:08
    We'll have early tally updates soon.
  • 09:12
    "We are truly stunned and deeply relieved... deeply grateful to the people of Ireland," says Yes campaigner Ailbhe Smyth on RTÉ TV. "It is this huge recognition of women, that women absolutely matter."
  • 09:13
  • 09:16
  • 09:18
    From Marie in the RDS: First tallies expected for Dublin Bay South at 9.30am. Political parties are all working together on the tallies. Fine Gael tallyman Conor McWade says that after the initial tally at 9.30am they should have a better indication by around 10.10 and a full taly of 106 boxes by 10.45.
  • 09:22
    Irish Times political editor Pat Leahy is discussing the referendum on RTÉ now, wearing quite a nice tie in the Gryffindor house colours. Counters across the country, meanwhile, will have their sorting hats on right now as they sift through thousands of boxes of votes.
  • 09:24
  • 09:26
    From Dan Dooner in Roscommon:  We're   under way in Roscommon/East Galway where there has been a turnout of 65.5 per cent and a total electorate of 63,158. 132 boxes are in and The Hyde Centre is now a hive of activity.
  • 09:28
  • 09:30
    Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher:  For a long time there was a huge hypocrisy at the heart of the Irish constitution which allowed Irish woman to travel elsewhere for abortions. The idea that we could continue to export our tragedy. There was a catharsis yesterday.
  • 09:32
    What does the referndum result mean to you? Let me know on Twitter @dangriffinIT or at
  • 09:35
    A friend of mine who lives in Vietnam got in touch on WhatsApp this morning: "There's been a dedicated group of folk here in Hanoi raising money for the yes campaign for the past few months. They'll be dancing tonight I expect."
  • 09:37
  • 09:38
  • 09:39

    Anne Rabbitte, Fianna Fail’s Children and Youth Affairs spokeswoman, who advocated retaining the Eighth Amendment, said “democracy has ruled” and the Oireachtas should now support the will of the people by legislating for abortion. “I think this tells us we are no longer a conservative society,” she said.

  • 09:42
    From Elaine Edwards in Citywest: Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Katherine Zappone, said that if the result of the referendum was as the exit polls suggested, Ireland would be a country “leading the world” on this issue. But she said women would continue to travel every day or to take abortion pills bought online until the legislation was implemented.
  • 09:42

    Spokesman for Save the 8th John McGuirk says he has "made peace" with the result. It is an overwhelming majority for Yes and a clear message from the electorate, Mr McGuirk told The Irish Times.

  • 09:43
    Dublin Mid West tally at 9.38am with 24 per cent of 104 boxes open: 81.2% Yes, 18.8% No.
  • 09:45

    Reader Sonia Shiels got in touch to say: "The result is overwhelming. My young daughters will become women in a country that has shown that their health and well being now matters. Let's get church control out of our schools next! Bring it on!"

    If you'd like your say: or @dgriffinIT

  • 09:46
    In Louth early indications are a turnout out of at least 62-65 percent however Labour Senator Ged Nash believes that could go higher.
  • 09:47

    The first box tallied in Sligo Leitrim shows a massive Yes vote, which tally men and women say is reflecting the trend in Sligo town, writes Marese McDonagh. The box from St Edward's NS school in Sligo is coming in at 61.8 pc in favour of repeal with 38.2 against.

  • 09:48
    In Kilkenny, 9.30am tallies have recorded a 64% Yes vote compared to 36% No vote from 3073 votes counted, writes Mary Cody.
  • 09:49

    The campaign work of Together for Yes finishes today and the organisation will go through the legal processes of shutting down, according to campaign director Deidre Duffy. “We woke up this morning to a new Ireland. Ireland’s changed. No matter what comes out of the boxes now we know that things are different."

  • 09:50
    British Pregnancy Advisory Service,  bpas, has said:  "We are absolutely delighted that the people of Ireland have voted by what appears to be a huge majority to repeal the 8th amendment...  Now more than ever it is time for the UK government to show the same respect for the women of Northern Ireland."
  • 09:53
    Our correspondent in Mayo says No campaigner  Dualta Roughneen earlier responded to the exit poll by saying  “I hope this is not reflected in the actual count”.    But early tallying suggests the county is on the way to returning a Yes vote.
  • 09:54
    Dublin South West tally: 9.41am 10% of 154 boxes tallied (mainly Rathfarnham and Templeogue areas). 75% yes, 25% No.  
  • 09:55
    Early tallies from the Clare count at the Oakwood Arms in Shannon are showing a 60%-40% Yes vote, writes Gordon Deegan.
  • 09:56

    Dun Laoghaire: Very early tally – only about 5 boxes tallied. 9.44am: 78% Yes, 22% No.

  • 09:57
    Dublin Fingal tally:  75% Yes 25% No
  • 09:58
    Huge majaorities for Yes being returned all over the country according to early tallies.
  • 09:59
    With just a tiny number of rural boxes open in Sligo Leitrim the trend remains massively in favour of Repeal, writes Marese McDonagh.
  • 10:00
    Louise Walsh in Meath West writes:  According to Fine Gael tally people one box from Athboy NS is mirroring the exit polls - showing 68% yes.
  • 10:02
    Thanks to reader Annie DeBreceni who got in touch through "To me - if the 8th is repealed - the results of the referendum will mean that women who need an abortion will be able to get one safely at home, without having to unfairly face prison."
  • 10:03

    Dublin Bay South has 23 per cent of boxes open and 79 per cent are Yes with 21 per cent No. Dublin Central has 46 per cent of boxes open with 76 per cent for Yes and 24 per cent against.

  • 10:03
    I'm hearing Longford might return a No vote.
  • 10:05

    "What this means to me, as a young Irish woman, is that I'm no longer scared to get pregnant and start my family, knowing now that Ireland will safeguard my health and my life," writes Emer Ellis-Neenan. What does the referendum result mean to you? or @dangriffinIT

  • 10:06
  • 10:07
  • 10:09
    Reader David Reynolds says: "I was snagged by the RTE exit poll in Bray yesterday. One of the many questions was "When did you make up your mind how you would vote today?". I answered "1983". Not sure she had a tick box for that!"
  • 10:13

    Dublin Bay South is running at 78 per cent Yes and 22 per cent No with 50 per cent tallied. Dublin Central has 61 per cent tallied and is running 77 per cent Yes and 23 per cent No.

    Workers Party Cunciillor Ellis Ryan said it is looking like a consistent Yes above   75 per across every demographic in the constituency. "We had 90 per cent Yes in one of the Stoneybatter boxes."

  • 10:14
    Holy smokes, tallies coming in thick and fast now. It's hard to keep up. It's Yes all the way though.  
  • 10:17

    "Hi Dan, I'm married and raising a family in Leicester. This result and the same sex marriage votes have convinced me Ireland now is a different country to the one I left in 2002 and a very different place to priest infested dark place of the 70's and 80's where I grew up.

    "I would now seriously consider moving back knowing my daughter's welfare would receive the consideration it deserves.

    "Thank you Ireland for yesterday, you have made this expat prouder than any St Patrick's Day or World Cup ever could."

    Thanks to Mark Quinn for his email.


  • 10:19
    A "teary-eyed" Sonja Heppner got in touch to say:  "The referendum result means everything to me as an immigrant to this beautiful isle who is not eligible to vote. I am deeply grateful for what appears to be a landslide vote to repeal the Eighth Amendment. If the exit polls are correct, Ireland will once again have shown the compassion I have grown to love so much about this fair isle."
  • 10:20
  • 10:23
  • 10:24
    If you want to contribute to the debate among my colleagues over whether I do or do not remind them of Terry Wogan, it's all happening over on Twitter.
  • 10:25
    Katie Harrington gets in touch with her thoughts on the possible next steps for the No campaign: "Now that No has lost the vote, can they recalibrate their goals from keeping abortion illegal to reducing the number of abortions by reducing the number of crisis pregnancies that happen? As talented fundraisers, they could commit to supporting rape crisis centres, providing free contraception, offering bursaries to struggling single mothers and so on. They could truly #loveboth."
  • 10:27
    "It is incredibly moving to see a country historically regarded as one of the world’s most conservative positively affirming women’s rights by such an overwhelming majority," writes Siobhan, who just voted for the first time. "I am so proud to be an Irish woman today."
  • 10:28
    From political correspondent Sarah Bardon: Dr Peter Boylan said this is a watershed moment for Irish women and a message to the 170,000 women who have had to travel outside this jurisdiction. The chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said this was a message to this women that they are valued. "This is about the women of Ireland and the couples of Ireland." He said he was not surprised by the scale of the result.
  • 10:30
    The lowest Yes vote in Dublin so far is 72 per cent.
  • 10:31

    Donegal looks like one of the few counties in the country which could return a no vote, writes Stephen Maguire.  With 14,652 votes tallied, the no vote stands at 52% and the yes vote at 48%.

  • 10:31

    "So overwhelmed with the results. It's just amazing all the work and dedication all the Repeal groups put in to get the yes vote through. I hope in the very near future nobody has to go through the barbaric torture my partner and I, family and people we know have experienced travelling to the UK. Fare play to all involved to repeal the 8th."

    Thank you to Aidan Loftus for his email.

  • 10:33
    "A Yes vote will mean Ireland has finally grown up as a nation that now will respect all it’s citizens, growing up in the 60’s for me its like emerging into the light from a long dark and secretive tunnel.   Thank you everyone, very emotional" writes Margaret Swords or, perhaps, Margaret in Swords.
  • 10:35
  • 10:41
    Reader Jill Scully writes: "As both a young Irish woman and a doctor, this result takes a huge weight off my mind both for myself when I want to start a family, and the pregnant women I will care for. It is truly heartwarming to feel this supported today in Ireland!"
  • 10:42
  • 10:48
    "I’m a 67 year old Irish-American in York. Spent some of last month in Dublin and saw the passion of the referendum signs.   We fought so hard in the1970s and 80s and it’s, now in this horrible age in America, as if we have to start fighting all over again. Many congratulations to Ireland for this important and life changing vote. But do not become complacent or think this is over. You could have a Trump somewhere in Ireland just waiting to catch the hearts and minds of people who hate and long 'for the good old days'. Be vigilant!" says reader Patti Powell.
  • 10:48
  • 10:49

    Dublin Central has completed its tally and the sorting of votes has begun. With 108 boxes tallied the Yes vote is 76.4 per cent per and 23.3   per cent No. Spoilt votes were 0.3 per cent.

  • 10:50
    "Overwhelmed by the results, and so proud of my generation," says Cian (18) from Dun Laoghaire. "Couldn't have picked a better issue to use my first vote on."
  • 10:51
    "I can honestly say I have never been prouder to be Irish in my whole life," writes Harvey Fitzgibbon. "We, the people of Ireland, have today proven that we care deeply for each other."
  • 10:55
    Commentators predicted that men would not engage with this referendum campaign. They were wrong about that. But if they're not engaging with this live blog, we're looking a result today that resembles Germany 7 Brazil 1 from World Cup 2014. Joking, joking, don't give out to me on Twitter.
  • 10:56
    The margin of the 'Yes' win in Clare remains 64%-36% with 56 boxes tallied.
  • 10:57

    So far only one box from Mountbellew in Galway is believed to have voted No, with 115 for No and 96 for Yes.

  • 10:58
    Yes vote showing 3:1 in Navan centres, according to Louise Walsh.
  • 10:59

    All of the 125 Offaly North Tipperary boxes have now been opened as counting continues in Banagher this morning, writes  Eoghan MacConnell. Tallies from 70% of the boxes show Yes in the lead with 58%(16,863 votes) of the votes while the No side is on 42%(12,390 votes).

  • 11:01
    "We presently live in such a toxic world but single handedly the small country of Ireland that has held up a beacon highlighting tolerance, respect and democracy from the results of its last two referendums," writes Oonagh Keith in Kent.
  • 11:04

    "I'm so happy about YES. I used to say I AM a statistic but today I can happily say I WAS a statistic. As a woman who travelled to the UK 12 years ago and came home to no counselling or medical help after a traumatic experience that will never leave me. Today I can now turn to my daughter and proudly say that she will never have to suffer the way I did.

    "Thank you Ireland for making it a safe place for our daughters, sisters, nieces to grow up in, without shame, and disgrace, and finally, a world where doctors can now give you pain medication to help you recover from the worst decision any woman/mother will have to make in a lifetime, within the law, and no criminality.

    "Today I'm proud to say I'm free of the handcuffs I've had on for the past 12 years, of a sentence that I can now leave behind. #proudstrongirishwomen"

    Thanks very much to Grace Gilbert for sharing this.

  • 11:06

    Cork North West: 48% of boxes opened with Yes at 57 per cent and No at 43 per cent.  

  • 11:07
  • 11:08
    If you'd like to get in touch please do on Twitter @dangriffinIT or at
  • 11:09
  • 11:14
    I've heard from more than one person that they never thought they'd live to see this day. It's very difficult to overestimate the importance of this vote to so many people.
  • 11:15
    Tipperary returning a 60 per cent yes vote according to tallies.
  • 11:16

    Earlier indications are that Voter Turnout in Cork South West is at in the region of 67% which is a 5% increase from the marriage equality referendum., writes Olivia Kelleher.

  • 11:19

    Independent TD Thomas Pringle insists that Donegal will still return a yes vote in the abortion referendum, writes Stephen Maguire.

  • 11:22
  • 11:25
    With 82% of the boxes in Dublin Mid West tallied, Yes is at 72.8% and No at 26.9%.  
  • 11:26
    Irish Times reporter Jack "Power to the People" Power with an update from Dublin North-West: Tallies of half of the votes counted so far show a 74.9 per cent Yes vote.
  • 11:27
  • 11:28

    With 88 boxes opened in Roscommon/East Galway, it's now 57.18% in favour of Yes and 42.82% in favour of No according to campaigners for Roscommon Together For Yes.

  • 11:29
    Minister for Local Government Eoghan Murphy who has responsibility for the referendum has said the formal result is unlikely until 6 pm because of the high turnout.
  • 11:30

    "Women all over the world are rejoicing today," writes Majella Anning in London. "How wonderful that so many older women (and men) who grew up with the Church and were taught for years that abortion under any circumstances was wrong, voted YES because their basic humanity shone out."

  • 11:31
    "As Dr. Jill Scully's dad I like to day   'well done for flying home to vote Jilly'. John."
  • 11:34
    "I would like to say how proud I am of my sons, who all voted Yes yesterday," writes E McLoughlin. "They know the painful story of our loss of a baby girl before they were born many years ago due to a FFA, and they have been incredibly supportive of me and of all the women like me. The events of the past still sadden me, but the men in my life have lifted me up and I am so delighted that at last this country can move on."
  • 11:35
    Dublin Mid West: The final tally at just before 11.20am with all boxes opened puts Yes at 72.6 per cent and No at 27.1 per cent.
  • 11:36
    No campaigner Katie Ascough on RTÉ says she believes the campaign has unified a strong pro-life voice in Ireland which will continue to campaign against abortion.
  • 11:36
  • 11:38
  • 11:38
  • 11:39
    Any No campaigning politician that I've heard on the media this morning has said they will not hold up the legislation that follows from this referendum result.
  • 11:41
    It's extremely tight in Donegal. No is just edging it.
  • 11:46

    With 48 out of 226 boxes tallied the two Kildare constituencies are on course to deliver a resounding victory for the Yes campaign, writes Noel O'Driscoll.  The vote is breaking 74% to 25% in favour of the Yes campaign in Kildare North.  In Kildare South with 20 of 103 boxes open Yes is ahead by 71% to 29%.

  • 11:48
    "As somebody from one of the worlds largest experiments in democracy - India, watching Ireland go about this entire referendum has been a sheer joy," writes Fahd Hussein. "My partner is Irish and it was quite inspirational to see her and so many Irish citizens travel back home just to vote and participate in this celebration of choice."
  • 11:49
    More than half of the boxes in Limerick suggest a 66 per cent vote for Yes.
  • 11:51
    With 144 of the 213 boxes open in Kerry and a 60 per cent turn out at this stage, the couny seem sot have voted overwhelmingly for Yes, writes Anne Lucey in the Kingdom.
  • 11:52

    Huge crowd and sustained applause for Sinn Féin president Mary Lou Mc Donald as she arrived in the RDS about 20 minutes ago.

  • 11:53
    "My nails have been bitten to the quick! I could not afford to fly home and vote but my generation have done such amazing work. Days like today make me feel anything is possible," writes reader Orla Traynor.
  • 11:55

    "This result today means more to me than words can ever express.  I genuinely thought this day would never come," writes Mimi Carney Flynn.


  • 11:55
    "Jim Kemmy would have loved today’s result. He marked his spot in 1980 and for a long time was the only member of Dáil Éireann who stood for abortion provision in Ireland. I raised a glass to your memory last night and I’ll do so again tonight," says Stephen McCarthy.
  • 11:56

    The final Fingal tally has Yes at 76.8% and No at 23.2%. The highest yes vote was in one area of Swords – 86.9%

  • 11:58
    "It's not like me to quote a Pope but 'Young people of Ireland, we love you'," says  Yes campaigner in Wexford and former People Before Profit councillor  Deirdre Wadding.
  • 11:59
    Full Laois tally gives it 58 per cent to 42 per cent to Yes.
  • 12:01

    "I am an Irish immigrant living in Scotland since 2000. In 1988, as a scared teenager, I travelled to London to terminate a pregnancy. It took time to get over the shame I felt. It's been even longer letting go of the anger. Today, I am bursting with pride. Thank you my fellow citizens. I should never have doubted you. Thank you, too, to a UK that welcomed me all those years ago and looked after me. I will be forever grateful."

    Thanks very much to A. Lynch for that email.

  • 12:01
    South Donegal - part of the Sligo Leitrim constituency - has voted Yes by a margin 63.6pc to 35.8 pc, according to the tally.
  • 12:02
  • 12:03
    Sinn Fein Senator Padraig Mac Lochlainn has admitted that it looks likely that Donegal will return a no vote, writes Stephen Maguire. With almost 75% of the votes tallied, the no campaign stand at 52% compared to 48% for the yes vote.
  • 12:06
  • 12:08

    Huge cheers from Yes campaigners as the final tallies are announced by tallymen for a number of constituencies, writes Marie O'Halloran. Most of the constituencies well into the 70s for Yes. Some areas touching on 90 per cent Yes.

  • 12:09

    Minister for Health Simon Harris said this was an extraordinary day for Ireland, reports Sarah Bardon. "Women have been told you are on your own. Today we say we stand with you."

  • 12:11
    Fine Gael TD Catherine Noone there on RTÉ responding to Katie Ascough's concerns about upcoming abortion legislation. Noone is done with this debate and wants again.
  • 12:15
    More from Simon Harris: "If  you can find anybody today who said they were expecting this majority, I’d love to meet them. I don’t think anybody was expecting this margin,’ he said. ‘I’ve always said that Irish people are innately decent and compassionate and it does show that.’"
  • 12:16
    Final tally for Dublin South West:  74.6% Yes, 25.4% No
  • 12:18
    "I was born and raised in New Zealand, but my family's Irish," writes Lily McElhone. "Safe, free, and legal access to abortion care has always been an unspeakably important topic for me, but in March it became incredibly personal when I found out I was pregnant. Living in New Zealand meant an abortion was relatively easy and comfortable to access. I thought constantly about how much I felt for all the people in Ireland unable to access the care I could. It will be 5am here before the final result is announced, but I'm staying up all night to see it. This is momentous beyond words, and I'm so full of joy thinking about how much this will change."
  • 12:19
  • 12:20
    Remember if you want to get in touch with your stories, photos and reactions please do on Twitter @dangriffinIT or email at -- what does the result mean to you?
  • 12:22
    Leo Varadkar has arrived at the count centre in Citywest in Dublin.
  • 12:24
  • 12:25

    Cork North West possibly final tally: 61% Yes 39% No  

  • 12:25

    A small number of no voters remain at the Waterford count centre as tally figures indicate the yes side is in the clear lead at 72 per cent, writes Claire Quinn.

  • 12:26
    With 60 ballot boxes now open, Yes appears to be cruising towards an emphatic victory in Mayo, writes Tom Shiel: 58 per cent to 42 per cent.
  • 12:28
    "I hope we would be in a position to introduce legislation in the Oireachtas in early autumn," says Minister for Health Simon Harris on RTÉ. The legislation will be drafted over the summer if Cabinet gives approval on Tuesday. The people of Ireland have told us to get on with it, Harris says.
  • 12:30
    Monaghan Yes 8898 (53%) No 7857 (47%), Cavan Yes 11264 (58%) No (42%).
  • 12:31
    According to the first unofficial tally, with 31,133 votes cast in Roscommon/East Galway, 17,780 or 57.11% are Yes and 13,353 or 42.89% are No, writes Dan Dooner.
  • 12:35

    "What we have seen today is the culmination of a quiet revolution that has been taking place in Ireland for the past 10 or 20 years," says Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. It gives the Government the mandate to introduce the promised legislation and have it enacted by the end of the year, he adds.

  • 12:38
    "it will take about another six months to get the legislation enacted," says Varadkar. "The people knew what we had in mind and I don't think it would be right to depart from that at all."
  • 12:39

    Independent TD and “no” campaigner Mattie McGrath has admitted he is “a bit surprised” by the projected outcome of the referendum and called for “compassion” for women in crisis pregnancies when it comes to drawing up the legislation, reports Conor Kane.

  • 12:40
    "People won't be surprised when I say I think it's a very sad day for Ireland," says Cora Sherlock on RTÉ television.
  • 12:40
  • 12:44
    "About 45 years ago we had a similar situation here in Germany ending in the late 1970s in something like your government is planning now for Ireland. I am glad to see that Ireland finally overcame the Dark Ages and welcome your country in todays European Union," says  Klaus Welters from Germany.
  • 12:45
    A 64 per cent Yes vote in Clare according to a completed tally.
  • 12:46
    Tallies in Galway West are giving a 67 per cent “Yes” vote, with all three Aran islands and Connemara’s Inishbofin voting clearly in favour of repeal, reports Lorna Siggins.
  • 12:47
    "This is not just a Yes for women's health and autonomy (though primarily it is that), but also a Yes to the present and future leaders, builders and innovators of Ireland, for whom gender equality is a crucial component of an increasingly just society," writes Tom Lordan from Cork.
  • 12:52
  • 12:54
  • 12:55
  • 12:56
    Remember, you can order a specially bound, collectors edition of this live blog shortly after the final result is announced. Ah no, not really.
  • 12:59
    The final tally for Sligo Leitrim is 59pc yes 41 pc No.
  • 13:00
    "The #HomeToVote phenomenon has been an inspirational beacon of our democracy for the last two referenda. However, perhaps we should instead focus on why eligible voters are forced to go to such lengths to exercise their democratic rights. As an Irish citizen (and resident) whose job requires me to travel to China for a period each year, I have been unable to vote in either of the last two referenda. The current postal vote system is simply not fit for purpose," writes  Dave Lillis, Beijing (but mostly Dublin).
  • 13:01
  • 13:02
  • 13:04

    "I am sitting on my couch in floods of tears, overwhelmed with joy and pride and relief. Today Ireland sent women like me a message of love. We now know choices we have made, without shame or regret, are understood and accepted by the majority of the country. Thank you Ireland."

    Thanks to Stacey for her email to

  • 13:07

    "15 years ago this Summer I travelled to Bristol to have my baby boy Alex. He had Fatal Foetal abnormalities and my health was at risk as I have Chrohns disease. I could not bring him home because I could not get a birth certificate.

    "No women should have to go through the trauma I had to go through. It has been terrible to see no change in 15 years but so delighted there is change now. I was a young, frightened, 25-year-old who was frightened to tell my story. So emotional ireland has had the chance to speak."

    Thanks very much to Jennifer for sharing her story.

  • 13:09
    The latest from Kildare from Noel O'Driscoll:  Counting continues in Kildare North and Kildare South and latest tallies for Kildare North, with 93 out of 128 boxes open put Yes on 74% and No on 26%. With 94 out of 102 boxes in Kildare South tallied Yes are on 70% with No on 30%.  
  • 13:09
    Dun Laoghaire:  With 123 of 131 boxes tallied, Yes is at 76.79% and No at 23.21%. (We may not get tally for 131 boxes before there’s a count.)
  • 13:12

    "Dan, I would genuinely buy a printed version of the live blog and I’m sure many others would as well - we’re watching history unfold!"

    Cheers Brendan!

  • 13:12

    Two thirds of people in Limerick city are in favour of repealing the eighth amendment, according to final tally results. Tallies carried out by the Together for YES campaign in Limerick showed 66.4% of people voted YES in the Limerick city constituency and 58.2% in Limerick county voted in favour of repeal.

  • 13:14
    All of the Dublin constituencies have voted Yes by at least 70 per cent each according to final tallies. Actual results are expected to start coming in soon.
  • 13:15
  • 13:17
    Fianna Fáil TD Jackie Cahill, who voted “no” in the referendum, has said his party leader Micheál Martin’s declaration of support for repeal of the eighth amendment was “a brave decision” which has “enhanced” his standing with the electorate, reports Conor Kane.
  • 13:19

    The estimated turn-out in the Wexford constituency is 66.3% with approximately 73,300 people out of a total electorate  of 110,494 casting their vote, writes Maria Pepper.  This compares with a 57.8% turn-out in Wexford for the Marriage Equality Referendum and 59% for the Eight Amendment in 1983.

  • 13:20
    Official results have been announced for Galway East. Traditionally considered a conservative constituency, it nonetheless returned a large majority for Yes: 60.2 per cent to 39.8 per cent.
  • 13:21
    "Wondering if when this legislation is passed will Women in Northern Ireland be able to avail of termination facilities in the Republic," asks William Davies in Galway.
  • 13:22
    "Being in the majority on this issue means so much. It means that people will think twice about passing judgmental remarks or comments about women seeking or having abortions. It means we get a fair whack at providing the right health services. It means less fear, fewer secrets, greater tolerance. As an Irish doctor I am much relieved," writes Dr Mary E Black.
  • 13:24

    From reporter Elaine Edwards:

    Veteran anti-divorce campaigner Fionnuala Sherwin is in the Citywest centre and has complained to the media that she cannot get access to the returning officer to complain about the allocation of tickets for the count for her Love Both group.

    Ms Sherwin, who worked on the No campaign during the divorce referendum in 1995, previously took a High Court challenge to the constitutionality of the monitoring of votes in referendums.

    She also told a planning hearing last year that she objected to the HSE’s planning application for the new National Maternity Hospital on the St Vincent’s campus in Dublin because of potential changes to its Catholic ethos.

  • 13:27
  • 13:35

    "What a herstoric day, while it is history indeed. It’s more about her’story."

    Very good, C Dunne -- well done.

  • 13:39
    Clare McCarthy, writes to say she moved to to Copenhagen after the disappointing results of the 1983 referendum and the 1986 referendum on divorce. "I felt proud when Ireland returned a resounding Yes to marriage equality. I feel even prouder now and profoundly grateful, especially for the young emigrants who flew back from distant places to make themselves heard," she says. "I was born and reared in West Cork but when I get back next it will be the first time in almost 60 years that I’ve truly felt at home. I’ve got my tribe back."  
  • 13:41
    Champagne popped as the Dublin Central result was announced, Marie O'Halloran reports: 76.5 per cent Yes.
  • 13:45
    Cork South Central returns a resounding Yes: 68.84 per cent.
  • 13:46
    I'm about to get buried in an avalanche of official results. This machine we have here will be much better at keeping track of all of them than I will so check it out:
  • 13:49

    "Today I am crying with tears of pride and joy in my country for choosing compassion, deserved healthcare, and recognising women's right to choice. It is a hard day too, many people I love and respect have voted 'no' based on their beliefs and their opinions. I hope I will never need their support in a time of crisis pregnancy. I hope that someday I will forgive them," a reader says.

  • 13:50
  • 13:53

    "As an Irishman I am relieved and proud to see how many men seem to have voted YES. But today is for mná na hÉireann. Our women are kind, smart, tough, proud and beautiful. Not a time for euphoria but this is a fine day for our country," writes John Rogers. "To see my home county of Leitrim voted YES leaves me in bits."

  • 14:01
    Róisín Ni Gháirbhith has described the overwhelming 'Yes' vote in Clare as 'Mnásome'...
  • 14:02
  • 14:02

    Thanks to Anne who sent the below photo of her daughter out canvassing. She writes:

    I am so proud of all the young voters of lreland who got out canvassed, discussed, explained, and engaged in   the Yes campaign including my daughter Kalianne Farren. The whole process demonstrates that commitment to the democratic process in Ireland is concrete especially when "spin" is set aside.

    However l am in hospital at present and people had to leave hospital yesterday to vote. While l understand that voting in general and local elections in hospital may not be feasible surely a polling card id   and proof of address should be sufficient to allow for a ballot to take place in hospitals

  • 14:07
    Remember if you want to get in touch with your stories, photos and views: or on Twitter @dgriffinIT
  • 14:10
  • 14:10
  • 14:11
  • 14:12
    Four official results are now in. All Yes.
  • 14:13

    The tallies in Kildare are complete. With 101 out of 102 boxes in Kildare South tallied it is predicted that there will be a 70.1% Yes vote and a 29.9% No vote. In Kildare North 126 boxes out of 128 boxes were tallied and a 73.6% Yes vote is predicted with a 26.4% No vote.

  • 14:16
  • 14:19
    The focus is beginning to shift to Dublin Castle, the national declaration centre, where a large group has been gathering. The official national result will be announced there later on this afternoon.
  • 14:19
  • 14:22
    Are you in Dublin castle right now? Send a photo or a few lines, let us know how you're getting on: @dangriffinIT
  • 14:24
    The final tally at the Tipperary Count Centre shows a victory for the “yes” side with 58.3pc of the votes. Turnout in Tipperary is projected at 64pc.
  • 14:26
    I don't think so, Tim. Some areas in Dublin were returning 90%+
  • 14:28
    "I'm a young voter, only 22, and since turning 18 I've had a chance to vote in favour of marriage equality and now the repealing of the 8th Amendment. It's been incredible to watch our country transform as a result of Irish people fighting for their will to be respected," says Helen.
  • 14:31

    It's official: Waterford, Wexford, Wicklow, Yes, Yes, Yes.

    Keep track of the latest official results on our referendum results page.

  • 14:33
    Happy, happy journalists...
  • 14:41

    "My name is Aoibhinn, I'm 17 and I live in Belfast. I am so proud to call myself Irish today and I am crying with relief and happiness that no woman will ever have to suffer in silence or make that horrendous journey abroad again. However, I can't help but feel isolated as a young woman in NI, as we are now poised to be the only place within these islands without access to abortion. I hope with all my heart that the forces that campaigned to repeal the 8th will now lend us a hand in dragging our laws into the 21st century, because Irish citizens here are still suffering."

  • 14:42
    An Irish Times video of voters arriving at Dublin Castle:
  • 14:44
  • 14:45
  • 14:47
  • 14:51
  • 14:55

    "I know the No side has lost comprehensively and one must respect the result; but is there to be no reflection of the sense of loss, regret and heartache felt by the losing side in your liveblog?

    "The Yes side are fully entitled to their day in the sun and to enjoy the satisfaction of having won. I respect the editorial line of the IT in supporting repeal. However as a No sympathiser (by way of explanation I am an Irish citizen born in the North but resident in England since 1989) I feel very sad today. I may be proved incorrect but I feel that Ireland has taken a wrong turn here.

    "Please don’t let that detract from the win secured by Yes; but there are many decent patriotic Irish people at home and around the world who feel a profound sense of hurt and unease today and can’t join in the celebratory mood."

    Thank you to Des Duffy for this email. I would have posted more contributions from No supporters but the reality is I got hardly any of them. I think I published the ones I did receive.

  • 15:02
    13 of 40 constituencies have now declared. All Yeses.
  • 15:06

    And that's where I will sign off for today and hand over to my colleague Niamh Towey who will guide you through the rest of the afternoon and the official national declaration.

    Thanks so much to everyone who got in touch today, especially those of you who shared your personal stories of how the Eighth Amendment has affected you, your partners and your families.

  • 15:23
    Hello and welcome folks, it's Niamh Towey signing on here.
    We have just heard Dr Peter Boylan speaking on RTE, saying today is "a victory for Irish women".
    He mentioned our own Roisin Ingle, who wrote in this paper  in 2015 about her story of abortion.
    "Roisin Ingle and Tara Flynn, who came out and told their stories, deserve a huge debt of gratitude for the courage that they showed in doing that. It wasn't easy for them. It took a big emotional toll."
  • 15:24
  • 15:36

    Results are in for Roscommon East Galway, where 57.2 per cent have voted in favour of Repeal and 42.8 per cent against.

    This is the only constituency that voted no in the marriage equality referendum.

  • 15:52
    <span>As a proud Roscommon woman, I am delighted this 'Red Roscommon' map will not be following us around like a bad smell this time around. Senator Ronan Mullen was in the Roscommon count centre today, perhaps in the hope that the county would vote No. Not this time. #UpTheRossies</span>
    As a proud Roscommon woman, I am delighted this 'Red Roscommon' map will not be following us around like a bad smell this time around. Senator Ronan Mullen was in the Roscommon count centre today, perhaps in the hope that the county would vote No. Not this time. #UpTheRossies
  • 15:54

    Dublin Bay North has voted Yes by a margin of 74.6 per cent.  Some 57,754 people voted Yes, with 19,573 (25.3 per cent) voting No.

  • 15:56
    I would love to hear your stories - you can get me on Twitter (@NiamhTowey1) and by email ( Thank you to those who have already gotten in touch. This is a referendum which has been won by personal stories. Let's not stop now.  
  • 15:59

    Just in from our reporter Tom Shiel:

    A majority of voters of Knock, Co, Mayo opposed the repeal of the 8th Amendment.

    According to tally figures, 439 residents in the Marian Shrine village rejected the proposal, while 344 were in favour.

  • 16:04
    It seems we are begining to get a much clearer picture of the final result now. Results from 24 of the total 40 constituencies are now in, all of them having voted yes. As it stands, the Yes vote is now at 67.84 per cent.  
  • 16:05

    This has just come in from our reader Erin Mullan:  

    "Savita’s father has requested the new law be called Savita’s law. What a wonderful and just idea. I still have trouble looking at her lovely face without tearing up.

    "I am a dual Irish-Canadian citizen who works as an abortion clinic counsellor in Canada. I am so delighted with this result. It is a tremendous victory not just for Irish women, but one that will inspire people everywhere as we work to provide access to safe abortion, a change that will save the health and lives of countless women."

  • 16:08
  • 16:10

    Another reader's story:

    Ireland and the UK

    "This is a very emotional and cathartic result for the country. I am proud of all those who campaigned and voted yes, thank you.  

    I suffered a miscarriage in 2005 while visiting Ireland on holidays, it has just occurred to me from what I have learned from this referendum that my rights and health were much more precarious in Ireland than if I had been in the UK where I live.

    I am 49 now, I went to college in Dublin in the late 80’s and lived in the UK since 1990. So I remember well the Ireland of no contraception, no divorce, of peodophile priests and anti-abortion (Emily O’Reilly’s book about the 1983 referendum is an insight to this Ireland).

    So Ireland has come a long way. I still think Ireland has a little way to go to be a mature republic taking fulll responsibility for its own problems. I found the references to the UK abortion laws by both sides of the debate quite difficult to square with my experience of the UK. They were frequently repeating that the proposals in Ireland were not like those in the UK implying that the UK was the morally unacceptable face of abortion whilst in fact the UK were expertly and compassionately caring for Irish women. I have always found the UK to be a very civilised country, not something I would have always said about Ireland (until I learned more about the new face of Ireland from these recent referendums).

    I imagine a number of those who voted ‘no’ suffered no less from these laws than others. But they maybe wanted to believe that their suffering was for some higher purpose, it being difficult to accept that they have been betrayed by an historically misguided and oppressive ideology of Church and State.


  • 16:15

    These stories are really begining to roll in. Dan Griffin said earlier that people have been incredibly generous in sharing with us here on the liveblog all day. We are so grateful.

    This one, from a woman who wishes to remain anonymous, is particularly poignant.  

    "This year, in February, I travelled to England, as I was seen as a criminal in my own country for making the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I wished I could have stayed at home and received the care that I did when I went abroad.

    "But now, today is the day that all changes. I am not a criminal, I am simply a woman who was not ready or fit to be a mother and that is ok, I made the choice that was right for me and I do not regret it. I cannot wait to have children one day, and I am so proud that my daughters will live in a country where they are loved and respected.  

    "It is extremely emotional and empowering and I can not describe how happy I am to know that my fellow women of Ireland will never need to cross the waters. I have never been prouder to call myself Irish. I thank everyone in Ireland for making this happen."

  • 16:18
  • 16:19
    There are just 8 constituencies yet to declare their final vote. We are getting very close to a declaration.    
  • 16:20
  • 16:21
  • 16:27
  • 16:33
    Our political correspondent Harry McGee has written an extensive piece on how this referendum was won and lost by both sides. You can read it here.
  • 16:36
  • 16:41

    This is from another liveblog reader Chris Davitt:

    "Today something truly remarkable happened, a moment in history that equals the feat of sending a man to the moon. Although Neil Armstrong gets all the credit for this feat, a person had to rivet together the steel panels to build a rocket, a programmer had to write the code so that the boosters would detach at the right time and a person had to sew Neil's space suit together to keep him alive.  

    "All these people were a part of that historic event. We don't know their names, but they know that they worked on this, they were part of the team, they were part of history.

    "Ireland this is you today, every yes vote, every campaigner and every person who talked to a friend to try and swing them to vote Yes.  

    "As an Irishman living abroad I watch today from Boston, immensely proud, immensely humbled that a small island yet again leads the world in human rights, tolerance and marches forward towards a more just and verdant society.

    Much love,


  • 16:49

    This is from Joelle Braun:

    "I went to Liverpool exactly two years ago after a fatal foetal abnormality diagnosis. I couldn’t vote yesterday as I’m not Irish. My partner did it for us three. My 3 year old boy marked yes!

    "I’m so relieved today that this won’t happen anymore for any women/husband/partner/kids living here, no matter for which reason a woman chooses to terminate.

    "Thank you Irish people for these loving compassion you have just thrown at us!"

  • 16:59

    This is from Celine:

    "Fantastic result today. Didn't think it would mean so much to me personally after 24 years. Having to travel to London 24 years ago this May as a young student, the shame I carried for years was so difficult. I felt like a criminal having got a number written on a rolled up scrap of paper and returned to finish my final exams.

    "I now have four children but 24 years ago I was not in position to have a child. I knew instinctively I had made the only right decision for me yet the stigma and shame of leaving the country and not feeling I could tell anyone did cause me untold pain. So glad to see today that Ireland has really changed finally!!!"

  • 17:02
  • 17:06

    A report from our social affairs correspondent Kitty Holland:

    The parents of Savita Halappanavar say they are “really, really happy” the Irish people are on course to deliver a strong ‘Yes’ in the abortion referendum.

    Her father Andanappa Yalagi, speaking from the family home in Belgaum, Karnataka in south west India, asked that the legislation to give effect to the referendum result be named ‘Savita’s law’.


    “I want to thank you so much. I want to say ‘Thank you’ to our brothers and sisters in Ireland for voting Yes. It is very important. There has been really a lot, too much struggle for the Irish ladies.”

    He said he and his wife, Akhmedevi were “very good” and were waiting with “a lot” of people at their home to hear the final result. They had however heard the exit polls from journalists also with them.

    “We are really, really happy. We have one last request, that the new law, that it is called ‘Savita’s law’. It should be named for her.”

  • 17:12

    Kitty Holland broke the story of Savita's death in November 2012. Her story has resonated with voters ever since, with Savita's face used on posters and painted in a mural in Dublin this week.  

    Kitty shared her own abortion story in The Irish Times in 2017, adding her voice to a growing number of women who felt it was time to end the shame and silence. You can read Kitty's story here.

  • 17:19
    Messages left on the Savita mural outside the George Bernard Shaw pub in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
    Messages left on the Savita mural outside the George Bernard Shaw pub in Dublin. Photograph: Cyril Byrne/The Irish Times
  • 17:35
  • 17:40
  • 17:43
    We are hearing that the official result will be announced in 5 minutes
  • 17:47
    This is a small crucifix that was found in a ballot box in Westport Quay, Co Mayo. Sent in by a reader.
    This is a small crucifix that was found in a ballot box in Westport Quay, Co Mayo. Sent in by a reader.
  • 18:09
    Vincent and Milo Mulvey, from Glencullen, at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
    Vincent and Milo Mulvey, from Glencullen, at Dublin Castle. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times
  • 18:11
  • 18:13
    Ok the returning officer Barry Ryan is approaching the stage to make an official declaration
  • 18:16


    Total valid poll: 2,153,613

    - 1,429,981 in favour of repealing

    - 723,632 against  

    That makes the total vote 66.4 per cent in favour of repealing the 8th ammendment,   to 33.6 per cent against

  • 18:20

    Donegal is the only county to have voted No by a margin of 48.1 per cent for Yes to 51.9 for No

  • 18:22
  • 18:30
    Wondering how your county voted? We have a full breakdown of the results here.
  • 18:32
  • 18:36

    This will not be an easy couple of weeks for people in Donegal, or indeed Yes voters who are from Donegal but are registered elsewhere.

    There will be analysis. There will be OpEds. Unemplyment figures will be thrown out. We must remember that the margin was very small - 48% to 52%.

    Many in people in Roscommon felt patronised by this level of analysis following the marriage equality referendum. This is a democracy, people need not explain themselves.  

  • 18:42

    The Taiseach Leo Varadkar reacts to the final result:

    "We all want to ensure that there are fewer crisis pregnancies and fewer abortions. Thanks to sex education, wider availability of contraceptives and emergency contraception, abortion rates are already falling and teenage pregnancy is at its lowest since the 1960s.

    "We will continue to improve access to sexual health and education to reduce crisis pregnancies and abortions further in the year ahead.

    "We will also continue to make Ireland a better place to raise a family. We’ve made a good start with two years of free pre-school, free GP visits for young children, subsidised childcare, paid paternity leave and increases in the Working Family Payment and Home Carers Tax Credit.

    "In the years ahead we will build on these policies so Ireland will become one of the best places in the world to raise a family. Families of all forms."

  • 18:43
  • 18:46
  • 18:56
  • 18:57
  • 18:58
  • 19:05
    As if voting Yes wasn't enough, Roscommon have only gone and beaten Leitrim 0-24 to 0-10 in Carrick on Shannon. I can die happy.  
  • 19:21
  • 19:44

    That's it for The Irish Times liveblog today. Thank you to everyone who sent in personal stories and comments; your response was overwhelming.

    Sarah Bardon has a full report  here of what has been a  momentus day for Ireland.