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Dublin: 11°C Tuesday 3 August 2021

Roscommon has voted by nearly 60% to repeal the Eighth Amendment

There was an intense media focus on the area in the wake of the same-sex marriage referendum.

ROSCOMMON-GALWAY has recorded a dramatic turn-around of the last referendum result on a social issue in the area.

The final result from the constituency was announced at 3pm – with 23,677 voting to repeal the Eighth Amendment and 17,709 voting to retain.

That’s a margin of 57.21% Yes to 42.79% No.

The now-redrawn constituency of Roscommon-South Leitrim was the only constituency to record a No vote in the same-sex marriage referendum three years ago.

Almost 35 years ago, Roscommon-East Mayo (as it was then) recorded a landslide result in favour of introducing the contentious amendment – with more than eight out of 10 voters marking their ballot in favour of it.

The Repeal campaigners gathered in the count centre at Roscommon Gaels GAA Club today said local volunteers had been determined to speak to as many voters as possible this time around to ensure a Yes to repealing the Eighth.

MEP Luke Ming Flanagan, who has been at the centre since this morning, described it as an “absolutely fantastic day”.

“It shows we’re not conservative we’re just complicated.”

One No campaigner said she was extremely disappointed by the result – and had felt from “about last Sunday” that the country would vote to repeal. The public had been “bombarded” by Yes messages from the media in recent weeks, she said.

There were only a handful of pink-bibbed No activists present at the centre this afternoon, and they were vastly outnumbered by pro-repeal volunteers wearing black sweatshirts and colourful Yes t-shirts.

Reporters and media crews from across the globe had descended on Roscommon this week ahead of the vote to write and record pieces about the ‘heartland’ vote in Ireland’s abortion referendum.

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.

Eugene Murphy, the local Fianna Fáil TD, said he had been interviewed by 13 international media organisations in the last few months.

Those international crews had packed up by today – although there was a strong representation from local and national media, with a live RTÉ TV set-up on the club’s small stage.

Several Yes campaigners noted that the attention on Roscommon was probably a little unfair – other constituencies had recorded very narrow Yes votes to Marriage Equality in 2015, they said.

Nevertheless, anyone who chose to focus on the county seeking an outlier result this time around will have to look elsewhere. Today’s ‘Yes’ puts Roscommon firmly in line with the position across much of the country.

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