Connemara islanders to cast ballots today


ISLAND VOTING:THE PEOPLE of Connemara’s offshore islands cast their referendum votes today, with indications of a low turnout on the Mayo islands yesterday.

Highest turnout among the Mayo offshore communities was recorded on Clare Island, with just over 50 per cent having cast their ballots by 7.45pm.

On Inishturk, just over 40 per cent of voters had turned out by 5pm, while 10 of 29 islanders on Inishbiggle had voted by the same time.

Mayo constituency returning officer Fintan Murphy said he did not expect the figures to change significantly by the time polling stations had closed at 8pm.

Clare Island polling clerk Padraic O’Malley said that “flat, calm seas and sunshine beating down” had made for a very quiet day at the primary school.

As of lunchtime yesterday, only 11 people had voted there, with similar slow turnouts on the other two islands.

“We’d normally have a higher showing, with double that percentage for the recent presidential election, for instance,” Mr O’Malley said.

“However, some students who can vote are still away and others are working away,” he said.

More than 1,100 on the electoral register for the four Galway West islands – Inis Mór, Inis Oírr, Inis Meáin and Inishbofin – can vote today.

Seven Cork South-West islands vote with the rest of the State on Thursday.