Turnout low as voters take to the polls in referendums

President Higgins and Tánaiste cast ballots on Seanad and Court of Appeal

Turnout is reported to be very low in many part af the State as voters take to the polls for the referendums

While numbers are expected to pick up in the evening as people return from work, reports have suggested turnout failed to creep above 10 per cent in many parts of the country in the afternoon.

Thousands of stations opened at 7am and will remain open until 10pm tonight.

Turnout in the Dublin area was reported to be in the low 20 per cent range by 6pm this evening. A low turnout has also been reported across the rest of the country with turnout in Mayo reported at 18 per cent, Galway in the low teens and Longford and Wexford in the low twenties.


President Michael D Higgins and his wife Sabina Higgins were among the early voters and as they cast their votes at St Mary's Hospital Voting Centre, Phoenix Park, Dublin this morning.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore has voted in Shankhill, Co Dublin this morning. Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar also voted in Castleknock. He tweeted: “Turnout up on Children’s Ref but lower than Fiscal Treaty.” Former Minister for Europe Lucinda Creighton TD also voted at Rathmines, Dublin.

Voters are being asked to decide on two questions, whether they want to abolish the Seanad and whether to establish a court of appeal.

Voters will be asked to produce evidence of identity such as a passport a driving licence or employee identity card. A polling card is not necessary.

They will be given two ballot papers in the station, a white one for the Seanad referendum and a green one for the court of appeal referendum.

Each should be marked with an X beside either TÁ/YES or NÍL/NO.

If the Seanad referendum is passed, the Upper House will be abolished after the next General Election.

If the Court of Appeal referendum is passed, a new Court of Appeal will be set up at a level between the High Court and the Supreme Court.

Information leaflets have been distributed to the two million voting households in the State by the Referendum Commission. To access the commission's material on voting visit

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery

Genevieve Carbery is Deputy Head of Audience at The Irish Times