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SO HERE WE are.

The nation was faced with the option of retaining or repealing the Eighth Amendment, and the Irish people have decided.

It’s looking a near certainty that the country has voted Yes to repealing the Eighth – with final tallies backing up the landslide predicted in two exit polls.

Here’s how the morning counting went.

Good morning, and welcome to TheJournal.ie‘s liveblog on referendum results day.

Seán Murray here, and I’ll be guiding you through proceedings this morning into the afternoon as the boxes are opened around the country and the votes are counted.

You can get in touch with me by emailing sean@thejournal.ie or tweeting me @SeanMJourno.

The polling stations shut at 10pm last night and, despite the vote counting only set to begin at 9am, we already have a strong indication of how it’s gone.

We had two exit polls last night – one from RTÉ and one from the Irish Times. Both suggested a landslide victory for the Yes side, with the RTÉ exit poll suggesting a Yes vote as high as 70%.

We have reporters on the scene in counting centres around the country so stick with us for all the updates as the day develops.

After the exit polls last night, many supporters on the Yes side began to tentatively hail a victory, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin and Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald.

On those exit polls, here’s just a little refresher:

The Irish Times poll put a Yes vote at 68%, with a margin of error of +/- 1%.

The RTÉ poll recorded a Yes vote of 69.4%, with a margin of error of +/- 1.6%.

But then again, they’re only exit polls so how much can we trust them?

For sure, we have nothing completely definitive yet but it does look fairly clear in favour of the Yes side at this stage.

VOTING 883_90545856 People voting in Castleknock yesterday Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

Reports of turnout were very high in some areas yesterday, eclipsing that of the marriage equality referendum. We’ll have more solid numbers later but it’s worth bearing in mind the turnout for previous referenda.

On the last day the country went to the polls in a referendum (we also had the referendum on lowering the president’s age that day) on 22 May 2015, the turnout was 60.5%.

That in itself was the biggest turnout for a referendum since the divorce referendum (62.2%) in 1995.  68% of the electorate, meanwhile, turned out in November 1992 to vote to allow women not be prosecuted for travelling abroad for an abortion.

From reports at polling stations across the country yesterday, turnout could well be in the 65%+ range.

There are more details of RTÉ’s exit poll being discussed on Morning Ireland at the moment.

It suggests that every part of the country supported repealing the Eighth Amendment.

The Yes vote was strong around the country, but particularly in Dublin with a Yes vote of 79%, according to the poll. In Leinster it was 67%. In Munster 66% and in Connacht and Ulster, the Yes vote was 62%.

RTÉ has also released a breakdown of how the supporters of particular parties voted in the election.

Roughly three-quarters or more of the voters who supported the main parties supported repeal with the exception of Fianna Fáil.

According to the exit poll, 49.7% of Fianna Fáil voters voted Yes.

philip boucher hayes Source: Philip Boucher-Hayes/Twitter

More details from RTÉ exit poll, and this time it’s what swayed voters to vote the way that they did.

  • 43% of people said it was people’s personal stories that were told to the media
  • 34% cited the experience of someone that they know.
  • 10% said posters affected how they voted.
  • And 7% said it was through direct contact with campaigners.

Before we know the result beyond all doubt, there’s literally millions of votes to be counted, beginning at 9am.

Here’s the scene at Dublin’s RDS this morning, just before the boxes open.

(My colleague Aoife Barry will be reporting live from the RDS, and you can follow her updates here as the morning goes on)

referendum 492_90545907 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

referendum 499_90545903 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

D N West 097_90545914 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

D S Central 089_90545913 Source: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

So, the last time the country voted on the Eighth Amendment, 66.9% of the electorate voted in favour of recognising the equal right to life of the mother and unborn.

My colleague, Gráinne Ní Aodha, posted this reminder of how the vote went and the breakdown by constituency last time. Only 5 of the 41 constituencies at the time voted against the Eighth Amendment.

The exit polls suggest that the result could have completely swung in the opposite direction this time around.

Back to the RTÉ exit poll, and voters were also asked in what situations they believed that abortion should be available.

  • In cases of rape or incest – 73%.
  • Fatal foetal abnormality – 71%.
  • Cases between 12-24 weeks where there is a serious risk to woman’s life or health – 67%.
  • On request up to 12 weeks – 52%.

Orla O’Connor of the National Women’s Council said that, if the exit polls are correct, the result is “phenomenal”.

Speaking on RTÉ’S Morning Ireland, she said: “We want to thank every woman and man in every town, village and county who came out and voted yes. This is phenomenal. Assuming the polls are correct, this is a resounding roar from the Irish people about the horrors of the eighth.

“What became so clear was the importance of getting the public hearing the experiences of women and couples and hearing the reality of abortion in Ireland. It took enormous coverage for those women and men who spoke of fatal foetal abnormalities, of taking abortion pills and so on. I think today there will be a feeling of relief.”

Minister for Social Protection Regina Doherty has been speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

She’s emphasised the government’s desire to now try to introduce its planned legislation as soon as possible, if the results confirm the clear Yes majority from the exit polls.

She said: “As far as we’re concerned, the heads have been published and we want to get it to second stage as soon as possible. There will be politicians to try and change some aspects of it but we have a clear mandate from Irish people that they want to see change and compassion.”

If you want to know more about the 12-week provisions within the law, click here.

Kerry Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae, a No campaigner, has been on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland.

Here’s what he said: “As you know well I was advocating for a No vote. I did so because of very firmly-held beliefs. We live in a democracy I’m taken with the massive amount of people who voted Yes.

Now it’s over to the legislators. We will have to look exactly what the Minister will bring before the Dáil but the people have spoken and that’s it.

A striking aspect of this vote has been the sheer numbers of Irish people coming home from abroad to vote in this referendum.

Many a social media timeline was full of #HometoVote posts this week and my colleague Órla Ryan spoke to those on both sides who were making the journey from a variety of different locations around the world.

defining moment

Solidarity-PBP TD Bríd Smith is now on Morning Ireland.

She says: “I don’t what to say… this is a game changer in Ireland’s society. We will never go back to the dark days of women’s rights, of women’s bodily autonomy, and of women’s existence.

This will open the floodgates of demanding equality at every level for women… People are sick and tired of being told how to think and behave. Women and men in this country want a decent future for their kids.

Labour Senator Ivana Bacik then says it’s “an incredible day”.

“For many years, we have all become aware of the immense harm of the Eighth Amendment,” she says. Bacik cites the “tragic” cases as really resonating with the public.

Initial reports from those at polling stations are recording large amounts of Yes votes.

A bit more on that RTÉ exit poll, and there’s also a breakdown across a number of demographics.

The only age groups to vote No were over-65s, who voted 58% in favour of retaining the Eighth.

Just under 77% of middle class voters voted to repeal, 63.1% of working class people voted Yes while 52.5% of farmers also opted to lift the abortion ban.

We’re seeing early tallies from all over the country, with a strong Yes vote in all areas so far, from Meath and Wicklow to Cork and Dublin.

Emotional interviews with a number of young repeal campaigners at the RDS on Morning Ireland right now.

“People were really engaged… it crossed all genders, age groups and backgrounds. Everyone has had someone affected by this,” one says.

“It shows how far we’ve come as a country… Our generation and generations to come will change everything for the better and trust women. That’s the best thing to come from this,” another says.

Here’s Cora Sherlock from Love Both on Morning Ireland.

She calls it a “sad day for Ireland”.

“We need to remember what the Yes side have actually won,” she says.

She says that the country hasn’t been having the conversation of why women travel to England for abortions.

Sherlock says someone who’ve made that journey “regret” the decision to have an abortion.

“The consistent narrative that was put out there was that we needed abortion to keep women safe,” she says. She adds that “it’s not it” for the pro-life campaign.

We will regroup, we will reorganise, we will work hard to make sure mothers and babies are protected.

Sherlock is also asked why she didn’t appear on RTÉ debate. She says “a campaign decision” was made to remove her from the debate.

Here’s a strong Yes tally from Dublin, which is being seen around the country this morning.

There’s a statement in from Together for Yes, and its co-director Ailbhe Smyth has called it a “vote for dignity and decency”.

She says: “If exit polls are reflected in the official vote count later today, this will be a moment of profound change in Ireland’s social history, a moment when the nation collectively stood up for women and for their healthcare, and voted for constitutional change.

The people have heard us, the people have listened, the people own this Yes.

Image uploaded from iOS (7) Source: Aoife Barry/TheJournal.ie

More from Cora Sherlock at the RDS count centre.

She says that she’s “surprised” by the margin in the exit polls.

She says it should “worry us all” that “abortion on demand is here”. Sherlock adds that it’s a “devastating day” for the pro-life campaign.

There’s a statement in from Bpas, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service.

Its director of external affairs, Clare Murphy, says the likely result is a “momentous step forward that is long overdue”.

She says: “For decades, Irish women have been forced to travel hundreds of miles to our clinics in England, often alone, at a huge personal and emotional cost. The result, once confirmed, means that the Irish government can bring an end to this suffering, and legislate to provide the care women need at home.”

Reporters from across the globe descended on Roscommon this week ahead of the vote. Editor of the Roscommon People Paul Healy noted on Twitter that crews or reporters from Germany, Poland and Spain had been enjoying the sunshine and “checking out the perceived ‘conservative country’” in recent days.

The county has attracted more attention than most during the campaign due to its voting record on social issues.

The (now-defunct) constituency of Roscommon-Mayo recorded the largest majority in favour of the amendment back in ’83, at a whopping 83.8%

In 2015 it was the only area to vote against same-sex marriage.

Many in the town believe Roscommon’s reputation as the country’s most conservative county is a little unfair: other areas have very tight votes too, for instance, back in 2015 – and many younger people in the county moved to cities or overseas in the wake of the recession.

There’s been a surge in Roscommon voters hearing home to vote and detailing their journey on social media over the last few days.

You can watch our piece from the canvass trail in Roscommon and Mayo, recorded at the start of the month, below:

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

And on that Roscommon theme, initial reports from the county indicate a strong Yes vote.

Our reporter Daragh Brophy is at Trim GAA club in Meath West.

He says that Yes campaigners vastly outnumber the No campaigners present and, with 51 boxes open, it’s 69% in favour of Yes.

The boxes are a spread of urban and rural areas, taking in parts of Trim.

The Green Party – which campaigned for a Yes vote – have a statement in.

Leader Eamon Ryan says: “Every Irish woman who in the past was shamed and forced to travel will hopefully also feel a sense of joy as well as relief today, knowing that their sister, their friend or their daughter will not have to face a similar journey.”

He adds that the campaign has highlighted the need to put in place more supports for all women and mothers in Irish society.

Dr Peter Boylan, chairman of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, has arrived at the RDS.

He’d been a key Yes campaigner in the past few weeks and months, and has said that today is a “wonderful day for Irish women”.

The exit polls suggested that all areas of the country would carry a Yes vote, but that may not be the case from early tallies in Donegal.

With 15,000 votes tallied, 53% of people have voted No.

Some tallies in from the Ring of Kerry, and it looks to be a clear Yes vote.

The Iona Institute’s David Quinn – a No advocate – is speaking to Marian Finucane on RTÉ Radio One.

He calls the results a “crunching win” for the Yes side.

He says: “I was thinking it would be maybe 56/44 for the Yes side.  We’re faced with a situation where the pro-life vote boils down to its core of about a third of voters. It is a complete reverse of 1983…

When the pro-choice side was beaten 2-1 back in 1983, it was a lonely place for them. It took them 35 years to get to this position.

TheJournal.ie’s political reporter Christina Finn is also at Dublin Castle today. You can follow her updates here.

She’s saying that people in repeal jumpers have already begun to show up in the courtyard.

David Quinn is still speaking to Marian Finucane. He reckons anyone who was conflicted about the vote decided to vote Yes in the end.

On the Iona Institute, Quinn said that it didn’t run a large ground campaign, adding that the organisation is more about making people available to talk on media.

Daragh Brophy reports from Meath West:

From as soon as boxes opened here at 9am Yes volunteers said they were hugely encouraged by what they saw.

The early tallies have borne that out – I’ve just been told that Moylagh, in probably the most rural part of the county, and regarded as a conservative area, is firmly in the Yes camp.

Some other data coming in from urban areas of Navan: Blackcastle is at 65% Yes and Johnstown is at 75%, according to one councillor here.

Of the total tally counted so far it’s 61% Yes.

The No side says it’s been close in a handful of areas:

And Save the 8th have just sent in a statement, conceding the vote to the Yes side.

Here’s what they say: “What Irish voters did yesterday is a tragedy of historic proportions. However, a wrong does not become right simply because a majority support it.

“If and when abortion clinics are opened in Ireland, because of the inability of the Government to keep their promise about a GP led service, we will oppose that as well. Every time an unborn child has his or her life ended in Ireland, we will oppose that, and make our voices known.”

save the 8th statement

Image uploaded from iOS (8) Peter Boylan at the RDS Source: Aoife Barry/TheJournal.ie

There was a media scrum when Dr Peter Boylan arrived at the RDS, Aoife Barry reports.

He said he was “unprepared but not surprised” by some of the vitriol directed towards him during the campaign.

He says it was worth it to get a win for the Yes side.

More from the RDS, now.

Dr Peter Boylan, chair of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and the former Master of Holles Street, told reporters that he is “very happy” with the exit polls. He described Ireland today as a more modern, European country.

“It’s a happy day for women and that’s what this is all about,” he told TheJournal.ie’s Aoife Barry.

Boylan was a central figure in the Yes campaign, taking part in television and radio debates. Asked about how he was treated because of his decision to advocate for a Yes vote, he singled out the Claire Byrne Live programme on 14 May.

“I do [feel vindicated] but I have to say it’s not about doctors, this is about women. If you start playing the man, rather than the ball, you’re losing. If the abuse to me helped the campaign to say ‘Yes’, then that’s fine, I’ve no problem at all with that. I’ve experienced that sort of thing before. That happens – that’s the rough and tumble for this type of debate.

“I was unprepared for what happened on Claire Byrne, I’ve never experienced that amount of vitriol – it was quite astonishing. But as I say, if it helped the Yes campaign, great. You know, bring it on.”

Our reporter Daragh Brophy again, in Trim:

Latest word is that with 82 boxes counted here in Meath West – that’s half the constituency – it’s 61.5% in favour of Yes, with support for repeal across urban and rural areas.

Our political reporter Christina Finn is at Dublin Castle, and has just tweeted this update.

Is it just me or does that basket of biscuits look a bit sorry for itself?

The idea of an urban-rural divide was mooted well in advance of the vote but that hasn’t been reflected in the tallies so far.

Here’s one update from Wexford, where all boxes from Gorey, Enniscorthy and New Ross districts showing a high Yes vote.

Simon Harris became a key figure in the Yes campaign and was hailed for his performance in the RTÉ Prime Time debate earlier this week.

He’s tweeted to say there’s been a high Yes vote in his Wicklow constituency.

Even political opponents have – grudgingly – praised his role in helping to secure a Yes vote.

luke ming Source: Luke 'Ming' Flanagan

And again on that rural-urban theme.

Yes is polling on broadly similar lines in both the city and county of Waterford according to tallies so far.

Dr Rhona Mahony, the Master of the National Maternity Hospital, has speaking to Marian Finucane on RTÉ.

She says: “I think it’s quite extraordinary. This result is about the women who have endured so much.

I think for them today it must be extraordinary to see the whole country get behind them. It’s a hugely emotional day. It’s about real life and it’s about understanding.

“It has been a very informed conversation right from the get go. I think Ireland has to be congratulated for the way it went about the referendum. More importantly the country has listened to women.. and the women have spoken.”

There’s been reports of final tallies in Cork South Central and Cork North Central.

A clear majority voted overwhelmingly to repeal in both.

If you’re planning on going to Dublin Castle today, our reporter Nicky Ryan has the following advice:

We keep hearing it may be the tightest in Donegal, where counting is well under way there.

It’s less so in Louth and Carlow/Kilkenny, with a strong Yes vote coming in.

Fine Gael Senator Catherine Noone is speaking on RTÉ.

She says: “I think there was a lot of doubt as to if this would be an effective process (referring to the Citizens’ Assembly and subsequent Oireachtas Committee which considered the matter).”

She says it wouldn’t have been easy politically for Taoisigh Enda Kenny and Leo Varadkar to take the action they did.

Noone praises Micheál Martin and Mary Lou McDonald for coming out on the Yes side and supporting the government’s proposals.

She adds that “some parties” may be out of touch with how people feel on the ground.

Pro-life activist Katie Ascough on RTÉ now.

“This referendum has brought so many people together who care about mothers,” she says. She says “there’s a lot of good to come” in future from grassroots pro-life movements.

“We want to hold the Taoiseach to his word that abortions will be rare,” Ascough says.

We’re getting more statements in, mainly from those who advocated a Yes vote.

Here’s what Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger has had to say: “This is a victory delivered primarily by young people, the generation often disparaged as ‘snowflakes’.

They were the ones who said enough was enough and made this an issue, particularly after the tragic and unnecessary death of Savita Halappanavar. It was young women who refused to go along with the hypocrisy of the ‘Irish solution to an Irish problem’ and demanded and organised to force this change on a petrified and reluctant political establishment.

Speaking about the split in his party in relation to the referendum, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin told Marian Finucane on RTÉ Radio One that his majority of his TDs were okay with the position he took.

An interesting aspect of the RTÉ exit poll was that a small majority of Fianna Fáil voters voted No in the referendum.

“I think to be fair the vast majority were fine to be honest… There’s a continuum on this issue,” he said.

Martin said that it was always his belief that the result of the referendum would settle the matter definitely.

He felt “the result would give a clear and definitive pointer of what the people wanted,” he said.

“It was a matter of continuing to lead from the front.”

Martin said that the overwhelming strength of the Yes vote was something he could take comfort from.

“The world is changing and certainly there’s a force coming to have a very significant impact particularly in referendums,” he said.

Our political reporter Christina Finn was live at Dublin Castle with this update.

We’re hearing a final tally from Carlow/Kilkenny and it’s 63% Yes.

It’s a majority Yes in most part of the country as it stands right now, with a question mark still over Donegal.

Aoife Barry, at the RDS, has been talking to Eoin Shanahan, a no campaigner in Dublin Bay North. He talked, much like David Quinn did earlier, about how the pro-life campaign must have a long-term plan now.

“All they can do is to keep putting the message out there… keep putting pressure on TDs… to bring in laws to reflect their views, that’s what democracy is about. That’s what I’ll be doing. I did say to my son a few weeks ago, this won’t be over on the 25 or 26 May. This will continue regardless of the result. I do believe that if the result had gone the other day, we would have had another referendum. That’s what happened in relation to some other issues,” he said.

“There will always be a pro-life campaign and I’ll always be a member of it.”

“I think they are going to have to reflect very deeply on where they go from here. I think they will have to organise politically. I mean, one in three or one in four voters is serious political clout. If that was organised in a clever way, the movement could have a lot more political clout.”

Asked how he is feeling today following the exit polls, he said: “It’s a little like when your team has lost – but you’re still very proud to be part of the team but you’re disappointed they’ve lost. I was not terribly surprised [by the exit polls]… but if you had asked me yesterday, I would have thought it would be closer.”

Interesting line from No activist and Fianna Fáil TD Mary Butler there on RTÉ.

With the government proposing to introduce legislation on abortion in the event of a Yes vote, there is the prospect of opponents attempting to block the laws passing.

However, Butler has said she will not halt legislation, or do any filibustering “or anything like that”.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald has told reporters at the RDS that there is no room for any more filibustering from opponents to the legislation.

She wants it passed through the Dáil as quickly as possible. Simon Harris and Micheál Martin have made similar statements this morning.

Tallies still coming in around the country as we approach the afternoon. We should have the first official results coming in fairly soon.

This one comes from the polling station of Mattie McGrath – a notable No campaigner.

Image uploaded from iOS (9) Source: Aoife Barry/TheJournal.ie

Simon Harris has arrived at the RDS.

“They want to live in a country that treats women with compassion,” the Minister for Health says. “This is an Ireland that no longer says take the boat, take the plane… today we say we want to stand with you.”

Tánaiste Simon Coveney tells RTÉ that the referendum result won’t be a case of “Dublin versus the rest”, and that is reflected by the Yes vote throughout the country with little urban-rural divide.

“It’s a huge step forward for Ireland,” he says.

Even in the constituencies of prominent No campaigners – as we’ve already noted with Mattie McGrath -  the vote was still for repeal.

Our reporter Nicky Ryan has just sent us these photos from a sunny Dublin Castle. As he’s already emphasised, there won’t be a big screen and stage announcing the results like the 2015 marriage equality referendum.

IMG_2294 Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

IMG_2271 Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

IMG_2286 Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

IMG_2303 Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

IMG_2282 Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

IMG_2278 Source: Nicky Ryan/TheJournal.ie

Here’s more of what Simon Coveney had to say earlier.

Speaking to RTÉ, the Tánaiste said the campaign was a “very emotional time for a lot of people who essentially have been hiding their stories for now”. He said these people can now look forward to a different type of Ireland for their own children.

Though he said there is not exactly an atmosphere of celebration today, there is “relief and satisfaction that Ireland is moving forward”.

Coveney also spoke about his own personal struggle with the issue, and said he will be a voice for pro-life people who have concerns about the next steps now. He said he does not believe the number of women who have terminations in Ireland will increase significantly – “by voting yes, it was not voting against unborn children”.

The Tánaiste also sought to reassure No voters that the legislation the government is hoping to enact “is going to be balanced”, describing it was “one of the most conservative pieces of legislation in this area”.

Speaking to Marian Finucane, Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has said: “I think lots of us were probably guilty of poll watching.. And there was a certain sense of not taking anything for granted.”

McDonald said that particular credit was due to the women and their families who “came forward and told their stories”.

McDonald was questioned in relation to her party TDs Carol Nolan and and Peadar Tóibín – both of whom campaigned for a No vote, going against the official party line.

McDonald said that party members were entitled to have their own personal opinions on matters, but that when it came to voting on legislation, it was important that party views were represented.

“I hope that Peadar and Carol will accept the verdict of the people today and I will have no reason to believe they won’t,” she said.

Minister for Children Katherine Zappone is at the RDS too, and she told our reporter Aoife Barry: “I was actually thinking of course of the women who were so brave to come forward to tell their stories to change the hearts and minds of, not only the citizens of Ireland but a lot of the politicians as well.

“And we are now moving forward more and more into a time and a period where the shaming of women has to be left behind…”

And now we have a statement in from the Social Democrats.

Co-leader Catherine Murphy has said that the expected result shows the “innate decency of the Irish people”.

She said: “It is remarkable to see the depth of understanding and compassion of Irish voters of all ages and backgrounds towards those among us who face difficult situations and decisions during pregnancies.”

Soc Dem co-leader Róisín Shortall echoed these sentiments and said that a new Ireland is “clearly taking shape”.

Our reporter Christina Finn is at Dublin Castle and she’s been speaking to Solidarity TD Ruth Coppinger.

On the issue of the slim majority of Fianna Fáil voters backing retain, Coppinger said that party seems to be living in a “different timezone”.

She said: “I think the fact that one of the biggest parties in the State has shown itself to be so removed from the population, with over half of its TDs coming out for a No vote and actually getting involved in a quite reactionary campaign – I think they have serious questions to answer.

“The Dail in my opinion is a bastion of conservatism in comparison to the population, but Micheál Martin has a particular problem.”

There are four out of five of the Dublin constituencies fully tallied. All of them have voted upwards of 70%.

Still no official results yet, but we shouldn’t be waiting too much longer.

Simon Harris is certainly a popular man today in the RDS, arriving to big cheers and stopping to take pictures.

image (13)

In a statement, Amnesty International has said that the people of Ireland have sent a “powerful message to women and girls that their human rights and reproductive health matter”.

Its director in Ireland, Colm O’Gorman, said: “This is such an important vote for women’s dignity and bodily autonomy. It shows what sort of country Ireland really is – one where people care. At last, Ireland is free to create a legal and medical framework for abortion access that respects their human rights.”

We’re hearing the final tally from Limerick city, which has it at two-thirds in favour of repeal. There’s also a strong Yes in the county.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar is speaking on RTÉ One now.

He says: “What we’ve seen today is the culmination of a quiet revolution that has taken place in Ireland over the past 10-20 years.

We trust women, and we respect them to make the right decisions for their healthcare… this gives the government the mandate.

“Most of all it was the very many brave women and men who told their stories as to how the Eighth Amendment had impacted on them,” he says when asked about what influenced voters.

They allowed us a nation to understand how this hard law created so many hard cases.

Varadkar adds that he’d have the legislation through “quicker if he could”, and says it will take another six months for the legislation to be enacted.

“My intention is to bring in legislation exactly on the lines of what is in the general scheme,” he says.

We have info on what’s in that general scheme of the legislation here.

And here’s Ruth Coppinger TD speaking to TheJournal.ie outside Dublin Castle, where small crowds are starting to gather.

Source: TheJournal.ie/YouTube

Senator Ronan Mullen is on RTÉ News. He has thanked the people who voted to retain the Eighth Amendment, adding that “we have lost something beautiful”.

He said that people in politics should show “leadership” on the issue.

Seán has left to take a well-deserved break so it’s Sinéad O’Carroll here for the next little while.

Just some housekeeping, if you’re wondering where to find results, we’ll have them all for you here as they come in.

PastedImage-56578

Some more political reaction in from reporter Christina Finn in Dublin Castle:

Independent Alliance members Shane Ross, Finian McGrath and John Halligan have welcomed the early tallies indicating an overwhelming Yes vote in the referendum to repeal the Eighth Amendment.

The three members campaigned for a Yes vote and the Independent Alliance played a major role in getting the commitment to hold the referendum into the Programme for Government.

The three members now believe it is important to get the legislation through without delay.

There have been reports in two count centres of minor incidents between Yes and No supporters.

We’re checking this out and will report back.

A significant focus of the debate ahead of yesterday’s vote was on whether abortion laws would impact certain communities.

Down Syndrome Ireland had asked campaigners not to talk about people living with Down Syndrome in relation to the Eighth Amendment or abortion.

Other advocates, such as Suzy Byrne, asked for the same.

Today, she says:

Last night, Darach Ó Séaghdha (who wrote in TheJournal.ie that it “breaks my heart that my daughter might think she only exists because terminations were forbidden”), called for politicians who campaigned for No vote to advocate for people like his daughter.

The men and women of the Terminations for Medical Reasons group who have spoken about their experiences of having to travel abroad after receiving a diagnosis of a fatal foetal abnormality are due to speak in the RDS shortly.

Meanwhile, many are thanking Health Minister Simon Harris for the work he has done to get this referendum passed.

PastedImage-79330 Source: Gráinne Ní Aodha

 

A mural to remember Savita Halappanavar was installed on Richmond Street in Portobello, Dublin 8 in recent days.

People have gathered at the spot, leaving flowers and notes and Yes stickers.

Reporter Gráinne Ní Aodha visited the site earlier today and she will have a report back shortly.

As we’re going to be getting results in from now, we’re going to close off this liveblog and open a new one so you can follow all the results as they come in here.

See you there.

About the author:

Sean Murray

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