Cork city constituencies back repeal by almost a two to one margin

Voters come out in greater numbers than in marriage equality referendum to vote Yes

Cork city and suburbs have followed the national pattern – with people voting almost two to one to repeal the Eight Amendment.

The result is a dramatic reversal of the vote 35 years ago, when the people of Cork overwhelmingly backed the inclusion of the rights of the unborn in the Constitution.

Turnout this time around in both Cork North Central and Cork South Central topped the 60 per cent mark and was higher than for the 2015 marriage equality referendum, with some 64.02 per cent of the electorate voting in Cork North Central and 66.73 in Cork South Central.

Voters in Cork North Central backed repealing the Eighth Amendment by 64.02 per cent to 35.98 per cent who wished to retain, while the margin was even more emphatic in Cork South Central where the Yes campaign won the day by 68.84 per cent to 31.16 per cent.


In 1983 the people of Cork North Central voted by 64.6 per cent to 35.4 per cent to support the Eighth Amendment, while voters in Cork South Central backed the proposal by 55.8 per cent to 44.2 per cent.

On Friday night both The Irish Times and RTÉ exit polls took the element of surprise out of the count process, even though Maeve O'Hanlon of the Love Both campaign hoped both Cork constituencies would buck the national trend and not be so emphatically in favour of repeal.

While the separate tallies run by Love Both and Together for Yes may have lacked the fluency and efficiency of those run by political parties at election time, they quickly dispelled any idea that Leeside might provide any solace for those on the No side.

In Cork North Central, where Fianna Fáil TD Billy Kelleher, Sinn Féin's Jonathan O'Brien and Solidarity TD Mick Barry all came out and campaigned for a Yes vote, the margin was emphatic to judge from a box from Ballyvolane, which showed a 67.9 per cent Yes vote compared to 32.1 per cent for the No side.

Equally resounding

In St Lukes, also in the city, the victory for the Yes side was equally resounding with 67.9 per cent support compared to 31.2 per cent for the No side while in Clogheen, on the northwestern fringe of the city, the margin was 70.9 per cent to 29.1 per cent.

South of the Lee, the picture was equally bleak for the No side, with one box from Togher, a largely working class community, revealing 67.4 per cent support for Yes to 32.6 for No, while in the more middle-class Douglas area, one box revealed a margin of almost three to one – 73.7 per cent to 26.3 per cent.

In Carrigaline, hometown to both Tánaiste Simon Coveney and prominent No advocate, Fianna Fáil TD Michael McGrath, the margin was even more emphatic – with Yes taking 76.8 per cent and No taking 23.16 per cent.

Mr Coveney, who received some verbals from a small group of No campaigners, said he believed the results in Cork and nationally reflected the fact that many undecided voters had accepted reassurances from the Government they were not going to introduce some radical, liberal regime.

"Ireland will be able to legislate and for the first time protect women in their own country rather than having thousands of women to travelling to cities like Manchester and Birmingham on their own, lonely and vulnerable any longer, and that makes me very proud as an Irish person."

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times