We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.


Election 2016: All the latest in our liveblog - as Ireland votes

We’ve heard what the politicians have had to say for themselves. Now it’s over to you.

WE’RE DONE WITH the campaigning – today, the nation has its say.

Will the outgoing coalition be back in some form or another? Or will there be a shift to the opposition as we cast our votes between now and 10pm?

For a full guide on how to vote (as in practically, not who to vote for) click here.

And stay with us on the liveblog throughout the day for all the latest…

Happy voting.

Daragh Brophy here with you for the morning…

First, a look at today’s front-pages:


To vote in an Irish election you must be: (a) an Irish or British citizen, (b) 18 years of age or older, and (c) registered to vote.

Assuming you have received no voting card you’ll have to make sure you’re registered to vote. You can do so online at this link. If you can’t find yourself there, not to worry. You may be on a supplementary register, or your registration may not yet have been updated.

Give your local authority a ring after 9am if you’re not sure – they should be able to confirm whether or not you’re on the list for your constituency.

Assuming you are registered, you should have received your polling card by now. It’ll look like this…


Once again, read everything you need to know in this ‘how to vote’ article…

So how does our voting system work anyway?

Our Orla Ryan (that would be hard to say out loud, right?) has the lowdown on PR-STV:

polling1 Sasko Lavrov Sasko Lavrov

Some breaking non-election news just in…

The PSNI have confirmed a 28-year-old man has died following a shooting incident in the Walmer Street area of south Belfast last night.

Here’s their statement:

“Just before 10.45pm, police received a report that up to four men had forced their way into a house and shot the man. He was taken to hospital but unfortunately passed away as a result of his injuries.”

So what did we learn in this short, not-all-that-interesting election campaign?

Our political editor Hugh O’Connell has been taking a look back… 


Remember, TV and radio outlets are still hamstrung by the broadcast moratorium until 10pm tonight (it doesn’t apply to newspapers or online).

That’s why Enda, Micheál, Joan and Gerry were scrambling around making their last pitches for votes yesterday morning and early afternoon – and aren’t, for instance, popping up on Morning Ireland right now.

The moratorium kicked in at 2pm yesterday and lasts until when polls close at 10pm.

In the meantime, TV and radio stations can talk about polling times, how the voting system works, turnout … and that’s about it.

BAI Chief Executive Michael O’Keeffe has more:

“The moratorium remains an important measure for ensuring that fairness is achieved by the broadcast media prior to, and during, the period when citizens cast their ballot.

The prohibition of electioneering and references to election issues will allow voters a period for reflection in the final stages of the election campaign.

More on their website. 

Micheál Martin has been calling for Fianna Fáil votes…

And Joan Burton posted this video:

Paul Murphy is up too – and has been reading the papers:

By the way – are you aware of the election manifesto?


It includes the following…

“We will institute harsh penalties for establishments who fail to serve beans in a ramekin.”

beans1 Flickr Flickr

Sensible policies at last.

And so it begins.

Wonderful, terrible democracy.

Plenty of schools have the day off today – but why are our schools used as polling places?

Our Paul Hosford explains:


The above may explain why the roads are so quiet this morning.

Orla Ryan has the latest on the morning commute in her rival liveblog here.


Queues forming all over the country this morning.

Many of them aren’t outside polling stations.

For others, the journey’s not quite so arduous.

The popularity of the #hometovote hashtag snowballed last May – as Irish emigrants all over the world booked flights back to Ireland to cast their ballots in the same-sex marriage referendum.

Remember this?

It’s not quite so widespread this year – but there are still a good few people jetting in to have their say…

Heading home to vote in Clontarf – or anywhere in Dublin Bay North – could be quite a task, mind…

How’s this for a ballot paper?

(That’s actually the choice I’ll be faced with later, in Raheny… At least all the candidates have pictures this year – makes a welcome change).

Remember, there’s no ‘I’m Feeling Lucky’ option on the ballot today.

Here’s what the Irish homepage of Google looks like at the moment…


Our big name broadcasters had the night off last night, ahead of a busy weekend.

Some viewers, apparently, have been a little mystified by the whole ‘broadcast moratorium’ thing…

Our political editor Hugh O’Connell has been taking a look at the ten most interesting constituencies to keep an eye on over the weekend.

Including this one…


And this one…


By the way, don’t forget you can get information on candidates in every constituency at our election HQ:


This just in…

‘This’ being the decision of President Higgins.

Along with Sabina, Michael D cast his vote at St Mary’s Hospital in the Phoenix Park this morning.

26/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Sam Boal Sam Boal

26/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Sam Boal Sam Boal

26/2/2016 General Election Campaigns Starts Sam Boal Sam Boal

Meanwhile in the US, Donald Trump has finally been coming under some real pressure.

Check out this clip from the latest GOP debate:

CNN / YouTube

It’s been one of the most contentious issues of the last 18 months, but can water charges really be abolished?

Our Dan MacGuill has been looking into it… 


Joan Collins (not the TD, the other one) has been weighing in on US and UK politics in the last few days.

No word yet on who she might be backing here…

Pics are coming in of TDs voting – this blurry shot is of Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald:

There’s John Halligan:

And John Lyons is bringing his mam:

This is Aoife Barry here with you for the next while, by the way! I still have to cast my vote – like some of you, I’ll be availing of the later opening hours of the polling stations (they close at 10pm).

Make sure to read our guide to voting before you head in.

In case you were wondering whether Enda and Micheál were sending messages to each other with their ties… they’re not:

Some updates on turnout now coming in from RTÉ, but we’ve no national overall early turnout figures just yet.

Enda Kenny and his wife Fionnuala have voted – and he looks delighted about it:

Afternoon all, Paul Hosford taking over from Aoife.

Are we all feeling democratic today?

Turnout could be everything in some constituencies. A low turnout is generally seen as a good thing for an incumbent government.

tina FB Vote Selfie

A reader sent this to us. As seen in Clonkill, Westmeath.

In case you’re wondering, we will be covering the counts extensively tomorrow, complete with fancy graphics and stuff.


Dan MacGuill has been fact checking almost every aspect of the campaign.

Many readers want the series to continue after the election. What should we check?

One staff member here wants Dan to definitively answer when spring starts, which is a good one.

096Politicians Voting in General Election 90409955 Sasko Lazarov / Sasko Lazarov / /

Mary Lou’s been in to cast her ballot. Wonder who she voted for?

Joan Burton has been to vote, but not for herself. She lives just outside her Dublin West constituency.

The biggest question I have about polling day is this:

What do politicians do after they’ve cast their votes? The campaign is over, do you catch up on the TV you missed out on?

If so, politicians, might I suggest Billions? It’s very good.

Green Party candidate Roderic O’Gorman has an answer for me.

Though I feel this one might be specific to him.

Ah Barry, we’re not that bad – are we?

01 Roisin Shortall 90409940

Social Democrats co-leader Roisín Shortall was in Dublin North-West to cast her vote.

The party says they’re like Prince – hoping for a purple reign, purple reign.

Right, that terrible joke put the song in my head.

So, here you are. Take four minutes away from election business and enjoy Prince being a boss.

Casusa Ribeiro / YouTube


Kelly finding out the hard way that you miss 100% of the Instagram shots you don’t take outside her polling station.


Here, via Andrew Cunneen, is who the bookies think will win every seat in the country.

Ten seats for Labour but no Joan?

PastedImage-42405 AP AP

Away from Irish politics, Donald Trump got a fierce bashing off his Republic rivals in last night’s debate.

Marco Rubio said that if Trump “hadn’t inherited $200 million, you know where Donald Trump would be right now? Selling watches in Manhattan.”

As a man who once bought a Casio digital off a lad in Times Square for $21, I can say there’s nothing wrong with that, Donald.

It’s been pointed out to me that the bookies’ spreadsheet has Dessie Ellis as a Fianna Fáil candidate.

He hasn’t jumped ship and is, of course, a Sinn Féin TD.

If you’re listening to the wireless at the weekend (while reading, obviously), here’s what’s going to be on Newstalk.


Cian O’Callaghan is in the monster 20-candidate Dublin Bay North. If those betting on him are voting for him, he could have a chance.

Let’s hope a commission of inquiry is set up as soon as the new government takes office to get to the bottom of this outrage.

That’s it from me. I’m handing over to Daragh Brophy for a bit. Then I’m off to vote and sleep until it’s time to count the votes.

Use your vote, don’t use your vote, the choice is yours. But remember, the only things that counts tomorrow are votes.

Yes, Daragh here – rebounding heroically from the post-lunchtime slump to keep you updated on the latest from polling day.

There’s not much of overwhelming interest happening, to be honest – there never is on the day itself.

At least we know Gerry’s voted though…

Wonder who he voted for?

RTÉ is reporting that the highest turnout so far has been in Louisburgh in Mayo.

Over 40% had showed up to vote in the village by this afternoon.

Around 930 people are registered to vote at two ballot boxes.

Micheál Martin has cast his ballot in Cork.

The Fianna Fáil leader was accompanied by his son Micheal Aodh, his wife Mary and daughter Aoibhel at St Anthony’s Boys Primary School in Ballinlough.

Some breaking news from Dublin Bay North…

Coincidentally I’m clocking off and heading to Raheny to vote right now, so I’ll keep you updated…

Meantime Ronan Duffy will be taking over with updates for the next while.

Well hello, Rónán Duffy here.

We’re just over halfway through the voting day and thankfully we have had our obligatory voting bride shot. Well done, Mary Catherine Conroy.

Now for another one to check off the list. Our Defence Forces casting their postal votes. In this case, from the Golan Heights in Syria.

24646632473_a8bc0535e1_z Gunner John Murphy, Signalman Wayne Staunton, Trooper Ian Bickerstaffe and Trooper Jimmy Whyte. Flickr / dfmagazine Flickr / dfmagazine / dfmagazine

Now, where might you ask are the nuns? Apparently, there have been some sightings of voting nuns but nothing confirmed.

RTÉ had a package last night about early voting on Arranmore, there was one nun in that, Grace Flaherty. But so far today nothing.

Will keep you updated with #nunwatch.

Woah, woah. Stop the lights! We’ve reports of a second voting bride.

Presumably groom too, but nobody really cares about that. They’re not in a white dress like.

Now, it was assumed that the first real indication of how Ireland voted would be in RTÉ’s exit poll tomorrow morning.

Richard Colwell of Red C research though is suggesting someone else might be doing one too.

Now, after the David Cameron came out to wish Enda Kenny ‘good luck’ in today’s vote. Some hilarious pranksters have been doctoring Donald Trump’s tweets to make it out like he also came out for the Taoiseach.

He didn’t it’s fake. Repeat FAKE.

No, Trump is busy mispelling things about his own election opponents.

Hello there everyone, and happy election Friday afternoon. Cianan Brennan taking over duties here for a short while.

Many of you will be just finishing up in work about now. Well, there’s five hours left to get your vote in, the deadline at the polls being 10pm, why not make the most of it, it only takes two minutes after all.

It may be a bit late alright, but this is a sound, public-interest centred policy.

For context, the owner of the White Moose Café on Dublin’s northside, Paul Stenson, has today continued his crusade to fight with everyone on the planet by getting into a skirmish with Brazil. Yes, the country. To read all about it click here.

Amen to that Eoin. Not to worry. Tomorrow there’ll be so much news none of us will know what to do with ourselves.

For some people, voting is a five-minute affair, in a parish hall or school classroom a short walk from their house.

For others, it takes hours, even days, to get home to vote. It’s well worth it though guys, we’re sure you’ll agree.


Hello there. Michael Sheils McNamee taking over here for the next while.

Only four hours to go now until polling stations close.

And in case you’ve lost it, you don’t need your polling card to vote.

That’s all from us this evening folks.

We hope you all had a good day of voting and are excited to see how things pan out tomorrow.

We’ll be right back from 6.30am bringing you all the results live as they happen.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.