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In Photos: Voting takes place on Gola island off the Donegal coast

The isle lies two kilometres off the north west coast.

VOTING ON IRELAND’s outer islands took place today as the rest of the nation prepares to cast their ballots in the election tomorrow.

Largely uninhabited Gola island lies two kilometres off the north-west coast and is battered by the Atlantic.

Garda Tom McBride helped presiding officer Nancy Sharkey carry the ballot box from a boat, off the pier and into a waiting car.

general-election-ireland-2020 Eddie Joe McGee casts his ballot paper in the 2020 Irish election on Gola Island off the coast of Donegal, Ireland, with Garda Tom McBride in the next room. Source: PA

Eddie Joe McGee, 65, was born, reared and went to school on Gola.

He lives in retirement a short distance from the whitewashed cottage which doubled as a General Election polling booth today.

Mr McGee said: “I would like to see them putting more money into small islands.

“A lot of tourism comes to the island all summer.

“We have summer camps here, we have students coming from all over the world to visit the island and it would be nice to have the infrastructure to suit them.

“Money seems to be hard to get from Europe or anywhere else and I would like to see it being used wisely rather than wasted on different projects.”

general-election-ireland-2020 Garda Tom McBride with Presiding Officer for Gola Island Nancy Sharkey, carry an election ballot box from the island's harbour. Source: PA

He left the island to go to technical college in 1966 or 1967, and spent much of his career working on houses.

He is a champion of one of Ireland’s most remote areas, which comes to life with tourists in the summer.

Mr McGee said: “There is a lot more work to be done, the roads are really in a bad state, there needs to be a lot of investment in the roads.”

Gola has been largely uninhabited since the 1960s.

Evidence of the island’s heritage remains in the form of the abandoned stone cottages of families who have long since moved to the mainland.

general-election-ireland-2020 Presiding Officer for Gola Island Nancy Sharkey, travels with the ballot box off the coast of Donegal. Source: PA

The polling station was high on a hill overlooking the coastline and battered by high winds.

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Mt Errigal formed an imposing backdrop.

In the foreground, white-topped waves whipped by the strong winds lashed the beaches on this island of 30.

Charlie Sweeney travelled from the mainland to vote.

He is unemployed and said the new intake of public representatives face difficult problems.

general-election-ireland-2020 Charlie Sweeney meets Garda Tom McBride after he cast his vote in the election. Source: PA

“On the mainland things have gone downhill a lot,” he said.

“Where we are on the map it is very hard to say who could come in.

“Something has to happen, we have lost banks, post offices, cinemas, there is no nightclub for the young people – things are not great.”

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