Children's referendum passed amid low turnout
Sinn Féin Children’s spokesman Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said the vote was a clear endorsement of the amendment to strengthen the rights of children but said the Government now needed to “match words with actions”
Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Children Robert Troy welcomed the result but said questions remained over the Government’s handling of the campaign.
Three of the 43 constituencies in the State voted No: Donegal North East, Donegal South West and Dublin North West.
Total votes: 1,066, 239
Yes votes: 615,731 (57.4%)
No votes: 445,863 (42.6%)
(Click a constituency for detail)
The first constituency to report was Donegal South West, where 56.47 per cent voted No, as against 43.53 per cent in favour. Turnout was just 23.81 per cent. Donegal North East also voted No, by a margin of 59.66 per cent to 40.34 per cent.
Dublin North West was the third constituency in the State to vote No, albeit by a very slim margin of 50.39 per cent to 49.6 per cent.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny's constituency of Mayo voted by a margin of 53.01 per cent to 46.99 per cent in favour of the amendment.
In Tipperary South, where local TD Mattie McGrath was the only TD to publicly back a No vote, the referendum was carried by a margin of 54.17 per cent to 45.83 per cent. Turnout was 35.18 per cent. Tipperary North voted Yes.
The highest Yes vote was in Dublin South, where nthe referendum was carried by 73.03 per cent in favour. There were Yes votes of 71.87 per cent in Dublin South East and 71.57 per cent in Dun Laoghaire.
In Kildare North, the referendum was carried by 66.27 per cent in favour. There was also a strong Yes vote in Dublin North-Central, where 63.31 per cent were in favour. This constituency had a turnout of 42.03 per cent, which was the highest in the country, just ahead of Dún Laoghaire.
Galway East, Limerick and Limerick City passed the vote by about 60 per cent to 40 per cent.
Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said he was "disappointed" with the turnout. He said a Saturday vote is something the Government "may have to look at". He said the referendum "never took fire in terms of debate" and this may have resulted in people feeling it was a "foregone conclusion" .
Earlier, Ms Fitzgerald defended the decision to hold the vote on a Saturday, and hailed the result as a historic day for the protection of children in Ireland. On the subject of the low turnout, Ms Fitzgerald said she would have preferred if it had been higher but expressed delight that the referendum is likely to be passed