Kerry result: Yes 58.27% and No 41.73%
‘I want to be part of the Ireland of the future, not the Ireland of the past’
Independent TD Danny Healy-Rae from Kilgarvan, Co Kerry. There was a loud cheer at the Yes tally when the results of the boxes from Kigarvan were opened. File photograph: Alan Betson
Leading No campaigners were visibly shocked when they saw the votes coming out of boxes from rural areas.
The Listowel solicitor and veteran anti-abortion campaigner Robert Pierse, who is now in his 80s, told The Irish Times: “I am shocked to my inner core. I really am. I am very disturbed emotionally - as are a lot of people.”
Most of the TDs and Senators in Kerry called strongly for a No vote. However, Fianna Fáil Senator Ned O’Sullivan of Listowel was a Yes voter.
“I want to be part of the Ireland of the future, not the Ireland of the past,” he said.
Sinn Féin TD Martin Ferris said the result was “about doing the right thing”.
Fine Gael Senator Paul Coghlan, a No voter, said he had anticipated the result.
Independent TDs and brothers Michael and Danny Healy-Rae from Kilgarvan had called for a No vote and the village had been plastered with No posters but the people of Kilgarvan returned a clear Yes majority.
There was a loud cheer at the Yes tally by the other parties when the results of the Kilgarvan boxes were opened.
Michael Healy-Rae, who arrived after the result was announced, denied he was out of touch or out of sync with the people he was elected to represent, adding: “42 per cent of the people of Kerry had the exact same opinion as I did.”
The final result announced by Padraig Burke, returning officer, put the electorate at 111,108; total poll at 69,345; spoilt votes at 209. A total of 40,285 people voted Yes in Kerry, with 28, 851 people voting No.