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Civil partners of four years Paul Higgins (left) and Richard Lucey, who have been in a relationship together for 19 years, prepare to cast their votes at their polling station in Cabra, Dublin for the referendum on gay marriage. PA WIRE

LIVE: Ireland is the talk of the world as voters decide on same-sex marriage

We’ll be talking all things referendum here today.

IT’S A HISTORIC day for Ireland as we become the first country to ask the electorate whether to allow same-sex marriage. 

Have something to say about today’s referendums? Whatever way you are voting, have your say in the comments section, on Twitter @thejournal_ie or by mail Feel free to send us any pics too (but just remember, no selfies in the polling booth). 

Good morning! Referendum day is finally here. After weeks of debating, Ireland goes to the polls today.

We’ll be talking all things referendum here throughout the day. It’s Sinéad O’Carroll here for the first shift. Want to join the chat? Email me at or tweet @sineadocarroll.

With 66,000 new voters on the register, there are many people out there who have never voted. We’ve put together a handy guide of what you need to know before heading to your polling station today.

Seriously, we know it’s hard, but resist that urge to take a selfie!


If you’ve logged into Facebook this morning, you’ve no doubt seen people ‘checking in’ as voting in Referendum 2015.

There are English and Irish language options given to users at the top of their feed. Our Political Editor Hugh O’Connell has got his vote in early.


Have you voted yet?

Some quick information: polling stations remain open until 10pm. Bring some ID, leave the badge behind and just mark your ballot paper with one X.

Need more info? Here’s our guide to voting.

We’ve heard a lot about emigrants coming home to vote today – and the queues in Dublin Airport last night seemed to prove it.

The #hometovote hashtag is making some people emotional today.

Olivia McEvoy was at St Gabriel’s National School in Dublin at 6.45am this morning. This was the scene.

She said the station master had not seen a queue in 30 years.

Remember you will be voting on two referendums today.

The ‘other’ one is about the age of eligibility to be a candidate in a presidential election. Find out more about it here.


Election warehouse manager Michael Leona Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland Mark Stedman / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

This was the scene at Dublin’s election warehouse in Cookstown last night. That’s the facility’s manager Michael Leonard there, getting the 627 ballot boxes prepared for Dublin West, Dublin North, Dublin Midwest, Dublin Southwest, Dublin South and Dun Laoghaire.

Cliódhna Russell taking over here from Sinead O’Carroll, keeping you up to date with all the voting news.

If you’ve got any great photos or something to say about the referendum let me know at or tweet @CliodhnaRussell

Some enthusiastic citizens are calling for another referendum to reduce the voting age to six…

The head of the Referendum Commission Judge Kevin Cross told us yesterday that if you don’t vote, you’re letting others make your decision:

Video / YouTube

Remember the ballot papers for the two referendums are different colours.

Just think white for wedding cake (marriage ref) and green for the park (presidential age).

Aaron Cowming sent us in this video of himself just after voting:

This voting malarkey can get confusing:

90381302 Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Colin Farrell’s brother Eamon (on the right) with his husband Steven Mannion casting their ballot papers into ballot boxes while voting in the Marriage Referendum at the Star of the sea Sandymount polling station in Dublin this morning.

Hello everyone, Cianan Brennan here taking over from Cliodhna. Stay tuned to keep up to date with all that’s happening as voting continues across the country.

If you spot anything great to do with the referendum and the day that’s in it drop me a line at, or tweet me @ciananbrennan

Uh oh… hopefully this is the exception rather than the rule today.

Remember, you have until 10pm tonight to vote.

Don’t forget there’s a second referendum on today, you get to choose whether or not future Irish presidents can be under the age of 35 #arasref

Further proof that the world’s eyes are trained on Ireland today, the marriage referendum is currently the top story on Time Magazine’s website:

time Time Time

And yet more proof… #VoteYes is currently the top trend on Twitter worldwide.




Parking trouble in Howth, and queues out the door in Athlone, but not all polling booths are full to capacity this morning…

David McWilliams has come across all Apocalypse Now…

That’s what’s on the table here John.

We asked you how you were planning to vote for this morning’s poll.  If’s readers are anything to go by things are looking good for the Yes side…


David Norris is interviewed in Spain’s biggest newspaper El Pais today. Can’t imagine what about. Does anyone speak Spanish?

norris El Pais El Pais

Ireland has voting fever now that D-Day (R-Day?) has arrived, but has coverage prior to the referendum in the national media been entirely impartial?

Research by media group Newsaccess Media Intelligence suggests that the volume of Yes articles in the Irish media in the month of May have outstripped their No counterparts by a factor of three to one.

424 Yes articles were carried by ten national print titles, with 135 No pieces and a further 214 deemed Neutral.

“Unlike broadcast media, which must provide balanced coverage of referenda, the print media are not subject to such strictures and this research confirms the broad and widespread support in the Irish print media for a Yes vote”, said Laurie Mannix, managing director of MKC Communications who commissioned the research.

Ireland isn’t the only country where same-sex marriage is a big issue.

Slovenia, the United States and Mexico are all set to review their own laws in the coming months.

Today Quartz has taken a look at how things stand around the world in relation to marriage laws.


Here is a colour-coded map of how things stand internationally:

same sex marriage around the world

Hello! With just under ten hours of voting to go in today’s referendums, this is Michael Sheils McNamee taking over the liveblog. Anything to add to the conversation, email me at or tweet to @michaelonassis.

With polling figures in last week’s Sunday papers a bit all over the place – support for the referendum ranging from 53% to 69% – people are not taking anything for granted.

last weeks polls

However, you might be a bit more inclined to listen to the bookies’ predictions.

Paddy Power currently have a Yes result in the same-sex marriage referendum at 1/33 on. A No vote is listed at 9/1.

The turf accountant has said it predicts that over €300,000 will be taken on referendum bets across the Irish bookmaking industry.

In a statement yesterday, they said that, “from a business point of view, bookies will be hoping for the referendum to pass, as a win for the ‘No’ campaign would leave the industry in the red for a chunky six figure sum.”

We’ve mentioned this already, but the two ballot papers are different colours. Make sure to double check them on the way in.

As Cliódhna Russell helpfully put it earlier this morning:

Just think white for wedding cake (marriage ref) and green for the park (presidential age).

With a glut of people returning to Ireland to cast their votes in the same-sex marriage and presidential age referendums, the #HomeToVote hashtag has been tweeted more than 24,000 times in the past 24 hours.

People are currently tweeting the hashtag at a rate of around 100 times a minute.

home to vote Home to Vote Home to Vote

A number of high-profile people have already been out today casting their votes.

John Lyons, Labour TD for Dublin North-West, who is openly gay, was out voting at the Holy Spirit National School in Ballymun this morning with his mother, Josie Lyons.

john lyons voting 1 John Lyons with his mother Josie. Mark Stedman / Photocall Mark Stedman / Photocall / Photocall

Also out voting this morning was Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin, pictured here at O’Connell School on the North Circular Road.

diarmuid marting voting Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Someone’s mother with strong feelings on progressiveness in Ireland over on the Oh My God What A Complete Aisling Facebook page.

Some people are flying home from overseas to cast their vote in today’s referendum. Others are waiting patiently for cattle to leave the road clear.

Do you know what you’re doing tomorrow for the vote being counted?

Dublin Fianna Fáil councillor Paul McAuliffe has called on Minister for the Office of Public Works Simon Harris to open the gates of Dublin Castle, where the vote will be counted, as the results come in tomorrow afternoon.

“One of the most striking things about this campaign has been the huge number of people with no affiliation to any political party that have got involved in a political debate for the first time.  It is only right that they are given a place to gather and hear the results as they come in,” he said.

shutterstock_110432267 Dublin Castle Shutterstock / Matej Hudovernik Shutterstock / Matej Hudovernik / Matej Hudovernik

From activity at polling stations around the country this morning, it looks like turnout is going to be pretty high.

In 1937, Ireland saw its record high turnout in the referendum on the draft Constitution, when it hit 75.8%.

In 1979 the referendums on university representation in the Seanad and adoption rights saw the State’s lowest ever referendum turnout of 28.6%.

Will any records be falling today?

Find yourself confused staring at the ballot paper this morning?

If only there was some clever way of redesigning them to make them clearer…

ballot paper Unfortunately, this is NOT the ballot paper you'll be using today Each and Other Each and Other

The Dublin-based UX agency Each and Other has done up an alternative to today’s ballot paper, pointing out that it facilitates, “one of the most important interactions between government and its citizens. It’s the interface through which citizens decide the type of society they want to live in.”

The Tánaiste was out casting her vote in St Joseph’s National School in Cabra, Dublin a bit earlier this morning.

Here she is taking a selfie outside the polling station.

These Carmelite sisters were out earlier this morning casting their votes in Malahide, Co Dublin.

Ireland Gay Marriage AP Photo / Peter Morrison AP Photo / Peter Morrison / Peter Morrison

Hello there! This is Christina Finn taking over the liveblog. Want to get in touch and join the conversation today, email me at or tweet to @christinafinn8

If you haven’t got out to vote yet today, here’s what you will be greeted with at the polling stations.

Just remember: White Paper – Marriage Equality. Green Paper – Presidential Age.

Pictured are ballots for the Referendums Mark Stedman Mark Stedman

Reports from around the country indicate that turnout is steady today. Do you know what referendum had the highest turnout by voters? It wasn’t recently.

Find out here.


When Tánaiste Joan Burton came into to offices to talk about the referendum earlier this week, she encouraged voters to take a selfie OUTSIDE the polling station after they’ve voted:

Video: Aoife Barry /

The Labour leader did her own this morning:

Voting in the Referendums on Marriage Eq Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Voting in the Referendums on Marriage Eq Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland


While we couldn’t get access to that particularly amazing selfie, we did get this nice snap from outside her polling station at St Joseph’s School in Cabra:


Today people are also remembering Declan Flynn, the 31-year-old who was killed by a gang of four in Fairveiw Park in 1982.

His death sparked a large scale demonstration, which is considered by some as the first large-scale demonstration in Dublin for gay rights.

You can read more about the march that paved the way for the Dublin Pride parade here:


For those on the hunt for some tunes as they head out to have their say this afternoon – or just wind up for the commute home – Filtr Ireland has put together this Spotify playlist.

Spotify Spotify Spotify

While it’s clearly pitched at Yes voters, there’s something there for all fans of musical kitsch. Village People? Done. ABBA? Sorted.

Abba Animated GIF Giphy Giphy

Highland Radio’s Barry Whyte has this update on turnout from the far north of the island:

Only a quarter of all voters casting their ballots so far, but with over six hours still to go until polls close there’s plenty of time left for people to make their way to the booths.

The referendum response from the Irish abroad has been, in a word, epic.

The hashtag HomeToVote has been trending all over the world as those either living or on holiday overseas flood back into the country to cast their ballots, including from as far afield as Bangkok and Mozambique.

You can read Aoife Barry’s article here on how we have been getting all misty-eyed about those returning voters.


It’s Michelle Hennessy here now, taking over the reins of the liveblog. If you have something to say, feel free to send me an email to or you can tweet at @michellehtweet.

Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin says a colleague of his was spat at while campaigning today:

Leo had a bit of an audience when he went to vote in Castleknock, Dublin…

Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

It’s Christina Finn here back on the liveblog. Feel free to get in touch by email to or tweet me @christinafinn8

If you think you are too busy to get out and vote this evening, check out this couple on their special day.

Vincent Fox and Anne Cole got married today, but they were sure to get their vote in at St James Primary School in Dublin 8. Fair play. Enjoy the rest of your day, folks.

Pictured are Vincent Fox and Anne Cole graphy: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland graphy: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Pictured are Vincent Fox and Anne Cole graphy: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland graphy: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Dad jokes are sometimes just the best, as Darren Duffy’s father proves right here.

reff DailyEdge DailyEdge

This will give you a laugh on the commute home.

Valerie Loftus / Vine

You’re probably on your way home from work, shattered from the week.

You might feel like giving voting a miss.

Check out some of these youngsters, who are little young for voting, but who really wanted to give a helping hand.

unnamed Linda Jennings Linda Jennings

Voting in the Referendums on Marriage Eq graph: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland graph: Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

It only takes a few minutes. Here’s a handy guide before you head in:

No selfies or badges: What you need to know before you vote today


“The world is watching what Ireland is doing.”’s Political Editor was speaking on CTV News Channel, Canada’s 24-hour news network today. Watch the report here.

CTV CTVNewsChannel CTVNewsChannel

Channel 4 News also wanted to know the low-down about what was going on over here.

Derek Mooney / YouTube reporter Dan Mac Guill points out that Ireland’s same-sex marriage referendum is trending pretty much everywhere on Twitter.

Busy night for the website of the Referendum Returning Officer for referendums in Ireland. Oh dear.


Voter turnout in some areas is suggested to be comparable with general election turnout, with many people saying it is the first time they have ever had to queue in line to vote.

By 5pm, some areas were hitting over 40%. Here’s how turnout was for some other referendums over the years.

How’s the turnout at your local polling station? Get in touch in the comments section, on Twitter @thejournal_ie or by mail

Meanwhile, actor Zach Braff is making his view known…

It’s now Nicky Ryan here, the latest in the carousel of liveblog contributors.

The rush is on now at polling stations across the country as people finish work and cast their vote.

P.s. You might have noticed the website has been acting a bit funny, but it should all be okay soon. Something fell over.

We’ll have all the latest on turnout from across the country soon on, so stay tuned, and join us tomorrow for results and reaction. Goodnight!

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