As it happened: Ireland votes No on family and care referendums

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar admits referendums ‘defeated comprehensively’


The referendums on family and care were comprehensively defeated.

Some 67 per cent of those who cast ballots on the 39th amendment to the Constitution – the family amendment – rejected the Government’s proposed changes to Article 41.1.1 and Article 41.3.1 of the Constitution. The result was announced shortly before 7pm at Dublin Castle.

The 40th amendment, on proposed changes to care in Article 41.2, was defeated by a larger margin, with a result announced shortly after 9pm. Almost 74 per cent of voters cast a No ballot in that referendum.

Earlier, the Government conceded defeat in both referendums hours before counts were completed, after tallies showed the electorate leaning strongly towards two No votes.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it was clear that the two referendums were “defeated comprehensively”, while Tánaiste Micheál Martin said a majority of voters “were not persuaded by the arguments for changing the Constitution in this way”.

Polling stations across the country closed at 10pm on Friday, with reports of slow voting last night leading to growing anxiety within Government over the results. The national turnout was slightly over 44 per cent.

In the referendums, the Government proposed expanding the definition of family in the Constitution to recognise “durable relationships”, such as cohabiting couples and their children, and replacing the language around “women in the home” with language recognising care within families.

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“The Government may be shocked, but it should not be surprised at the result of the two referendums. The timing was rushed, the rationale unclear, the propositions confusing and the campaigning lacklustre. It was a crash waiting to happen.

“It is hard to focus the blame anywhere but with the Government. Few people would disagree with the view that the gendered language in the Constitution referring to women’s role in the home should be changed, with recognition given to carers, and that the definition of the family should be broadened to include those not based on marriage.

“But the wordings chosen by the Government did not satisfy sufficient numbers of voters.”

Read more here: The Irish Times view on the referendums: Government pays for poor decisions and a lacklustre campaign


What does the Government do next after these two resounding referendum defeats?

Political editor Pat Leahy writes that their fears of an unexpected defeat, along with those of “Opposition parties and the army of non-governmental organisations that made up the broad Yes-Yes campaign about referendums that never grabbed the public’s attention” were realised as soon as votes began tumbling out of ballot boxes on Saturday morning.

“It does not mean that the general trend of society has lurched permanently to a conservative one. But it definitely means that future governments will not assume that similar constitutional changes are a foregone conclusion.

“For one example, the proposed addition of justiciable social and economic rights in the Constitution, a campaigning goal of some NGOs, maybe looks a bit different now. Future governments will tread these steps with more caution.

“One obvious lesson is that you shouldn’t run a referendum unless you’re sure it’s on something that people definitely want.”

Read his full analysis here: Future constitutional changes now less likely after overwhelming rejection of family and care amendments


Result: Care amendment defeated

The final result for the care referendum is in – some 73.9 per cent of voters have rejected the proposal to change the 40th Amendment of the Constitution, writes Jennifer Bray.

A total of 1,114,620 people voted No, compared with 393,053 Yes voters, or 26.07 per cent. The turnout was 47.86 per cent.

Out of a total poll of 1,525,221 voters, there were 17,548 invalid votes.

This is the highest percentage of No votes in any referendum in Irish history. The next highest percentage of No votes was that of those who rejected the 35th amendment, to reduce the age of eligibility for election to the office of President, to 21.

While both Constitutional amendments were emphatically rejected by voters on Friday, the care referendum was vetoed by a much higher margin. Some 67.69 per cent of voters cast No ballots in the family referendum, but 73.93 per cent voted No on the care amendment.

Even in constituencies where the No vote was proportionally lower in both referendums, the care amendment was rejected much more strongly. In Dún Laoghaire, for example, the only constituency to vote Yes in either referendum, the No vote was 49.71 per cent in the family referendum, but rose to 57.79 per cent No on care.


The absence of those endorsing a Yes vote at the count centre at Co Donegal’s Aura Leisure Centre was there for all to see – or not to see, writes Stephen Maguire in Letterkenny.

Not one member of any Government party or any of those endorsing a Yes vote in either aspects of the referendum could be seen in the main hall at the count centre.

In the centre of the room, referendum workers busily separated ballot sheets and boxes were opened from 9am on the button, but outside of the cordoned-off counting area there was a sea of nothing.

On local or national election days, you would have to pick your way through this congested space. But you could have danced your way through the public such was the lack of interest at today’s count.

Two local garda watched on wondering exactly how many hours it would take for counters to put them out of their misery.

Mobile phones provided some respite as a constant eye was thrown on how Andy Farrell’s team were doing against the old enemy at Twickenham. The No votes came thick and fast and it was obviously early on that both referendum proposals were going to be rejected.

Returning officer Geraldine O’Connor and her team worked away diligently because despite the apparent lack of public interest, the count still needed to be carried out.

Aontú local election candidate Mary T Sweeney was at the count centre from early morning. Bar the need to “pop up the town for a bowl of soup”, she remained at the centre for the entire day.

She was adamant the Government had shown no appreciation for the role of ‘the mother’ in the referendum.

She said: “The problem with this referendum from the start was that it was only being brought in to bring about gender neutrality. There was no concept of the mother, of the woman.

“So it’s sad reflection on our politicians. There was no recognition or appreciation for the role of childbirth or the role of the mother.”

She also felt that the Government had overlooked the interest and concerns harboured by the younger generation.

“They made up their own minds and they formed their own opinions of what they want in their protection and in their Constitution ... and they have clearly said they want the woman, the mother protected.”


The voters of Galway West have firmly rejected the care amendment to the Constitution with just over 74 per cent of people voting, writes Andrew Hamilton in Salthill.

Deputy returning officer Joe O’Neill confirmed that the amendment has been well defeated in Galway West, with voter opposing the proposed changes at a rate of almost than three to one. Of the 41,227 valid votes cast in Galway West, 30,567 voted No with just 10,660 voting Yes. In the family referendum, just under 34 per cent of votes or 13,909 voted Yes in Galway West with 66 per cent or 27,298 voting No. The turnout for the family referendum in Galway West was 42.7 per cent.


David Cullinane, Sinn Féin’s health spokesperson, has said that the State needs to do better for carers and people with disabilities.

In a post on X, he said he fully accepts the outcome of the referendums, which were supported by his party. “When the people speak, you don’t answer them back. You listen with both ears.”


The leader of the Aontú party, who urged for a No vote in the referendums said he was “delighted” his own constituency “overwhelmingly” voted No, Louise Walsh reports from Meath.

Meath West TD Peadar Tóibín said Minister Roderic O’Gorman should now consider his position as minister

“I’m delighted that my own constituency has voted so overwhelmingly against the Government’s proposed amendments which were little more than empty, hollow marketing which had no real benefits to citizens.

“The Government parties are operating in a bubble and are not listening to the people, which is dangerous in a democracy.

“Sinn Féin has also again misjudged the mood of their supporters and the Sinn Féin leadership seems to have marooned themselves from their support base on a number of issues.

“Look at all those wasted millions spent on this referendum. How many respite centres or home help hours could have been provided by that 25 million euro?”


Meanwhile, results in the care referendum are now arriving at Dublin Castle as counts in the second referendum are completed across the country. With 34 of the 39 constituencies having so far reported in, the No vote stands at almost 74 per cent.

Sligo-Leitrim has rejected the care referendum with almost 77 per cent voting against. The Yes vote was 9,210 while 30,011 voted against. There were 498 spoiled votes.

In Kerry, almost three quarters voted No, with 35,809 No votes and 11,458 Yes ballots cast.

The care amendment was defeated in Cavan-Monaghan by a majority of more than 81 per cent. The number of Yes votes was 9,038 compared to 39,166 in favour of retaining the Constitution as it is. There were 557 spoiled votes, leaving a valid total poll of 48,204.

In Roscommon-Galway, almost 78 per cent voted No, with 22,293 No votes and 6,295 Yes votes.

Limerick County voted No by over 77 per cent, with 22,981 No votes and 6,750 Yes ballots cast. The No vote in Limerick City was marginally lower at just over 75 per cent, with 8,096 Yes votes and 24,322 Nos.

Meath West has voted a resounding No on the care referendum. Of 29,382 valid votes, just 6,542 were Yes while 22,840 voted No.

Waterford voted No by 26,753 to 9,677.


Irish Times political correspondent Jennifer Bray has examined how it all went wrong for the Government at the polls. She writes:

“As ballot boxes were opened around the country on Saturday morning, it quickly became clear that the proposed constitutional amendments on care and family were going to be defeated.

“The proposals had the backing of the three Government parties as well as Sinn Féin, most of the Opposition and a range of well-known campaign groups. However, those endorsements, albeit qualified in several cases, counted for little in a campaign that failed to capture the attention of much of the public.

“Where did it all go wrong?”

Read her take here on How the Government lost – and the No side won – the care and family referendums.


Result: Family amendment defeated

The family amendment referendum has been overwhelmingly defeated, with 67.69 per cent of No votes cast across the country, writes Shauna Bowers.

The final result was announced at an unusually empty Dublin Castle just before 7pm.

Counting will continue on the care referendum, with initial tallies indicating this will also be a definitive No vote. It is expected the results from this amendment will be ready within the next hour.

The national turnout in the family referendum was 44.36 per cent, with 1,525,215 of the total 3,438,566 electorate casting a vote.

Some 1,021,546 people cast a No vote, while 487,564 voted Yes. There were 16,105 spoiled ballots.


Often in referendums, there is an obvious rural and urban divide when voters take to the polls. Interestingly, the referendum on the family amendment did not have such a distinctive division, Shauna Bowers writes.

Of the 34 constituencies for which counting had finished by 6.30pm on Saturday, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown was the only one who voted in favour of the amendment. And, in reality, it scraped by with a result of 50.3 per cent Yes.

Other constituencies in Dublin had a fairly narrow No vote. In Dublin Bay South, the No vote won by 50.35 per cent, while in Dublin Central 58 per cent voted No.

The Cavan-Monaghan constituency had a resounding No vote at 78.08 per cent, the highest rejection of the amendment at the time of writing.

Outside of these, however, the No vote won by a comfortable 60 to 75 per cent in most constituencies. Clearly, it was an overwhelming decision across the country to vote against the amendment.

An official result is expected shortly at Dublin Castle.


Green Party TD Marc Ó Cathasaigh said it would take “a long time to unpack” what the resounding rejection of the referendum amendments means for Government, Jessica Martin reports from Waterford.

Some 67 per cent of the constituency’s voters voted against the family amendment.

Speaking outside the Butler Community Centre in Waterford city, Mr Ó Cathasaigh said: “There’s been a clear message that the proposed wording hasn’t had the support of the people. It’s going to take us a long time to unpack what that means, as in there’s a large number of reasons why people might have chosen not to back this proposal.

“I don’t know if we can interpret it as an antigovernment vote, because actually all political parties, apart from Aontú, across the spectrum, were supporting a Yes Yes on this, so we’re going to have to really look at the reasoning behind it, whether it’s a push back against politics in general, or whether it’s much more nuanced view,” he added.

“I think there’s, you know, maybe a lot of people who don’t particularly love the current wording but had concerns about proposed changes.”

He said he could not see the referendums being revisited during the lifetime of the current Government.


Although counting is still under way in the family and care referendums, the Government has already admitted defeat, with a No-No result looking like the only outcome. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar described the result as “two wallops” for Government, while Tánaiste Micheál Martin, said there is “no single reason” why the proposals were rejected, and a time for reflection will ensue.

As the political blame game now begins, what will be the fallout from the defeat? Hugh Linehan talks to Pat Leahy and Jennifer Bray of The Irish Times political team in the latest Inside Politics podcast.

‘Two wallops’ for Government as No-No vote emerges strong

Listen | 31:39


Tánaiste Micheál Martin said he didn’t think there was a possibility that the referendums will be re-run, reports Olivia Kelleher from the count centre at Nemo Rangers in Cork.

“The people have spoken. There was an assumption that for 20 years people were exercised about the wording of Constitution in respect of women.”

“I don’t want to be overly-interpreting the result but the people have spoken emphatically in respect of the two propositions. So, certainly not in the lifetime of this Government. It is now up to other political parties.”

“I know that Sinn Féin were saying that they would re-run this if it was defeated but I think that maybe they will reflect on that. It is an emphatic decision by the people.”

“Future parties can make a decision on this – that is the nature of democracy.”


There has been a resounding No vote in Limerick City in the family referendum, with 22,195 No votes to 10,291 Yes votes. Turnout was 43.4 per cent.

Waterford voted 2:1 against the amendment, with 24,404 No votes in Waterford, to 11,986 Yes ballots.

Sligo-Leitrim has also voted against the family amendment by a margin of 72 per cent to 28 per cent. There were 28,206 No votes while 11,030 supported the amendment. There were 483 spoiled votes.


The National Women’s Council of Ireland has expressed its “deep disappointment” over the outcome of the referendums, Shauna Bowers reports.

The organisation, which campaigned for a Yes/Yes vote, said the result is a “clear wake-up call that we cannot be complacent about equality and women’s rights”.

In a statement, Orla O’Connor, director of the National Women’s Council (NWC), said the people “have spoken”.

“The No vote in the family referendums means the families of over 40 per cent of children born outside of marriage and the over one million people who are part of unmarried families are still not recognised in our Constitution,” she said.

“There are some factors that clearly contributed to today’s outcome. The Government’s poor wording, combined with a lack of leadership from political parties resulted in misinformation and confusion among voters and a lack of mobilisation on the ground.

She added: “We campaigned for a Yes vote because we believed and continue to believe that Irish people value care and this was reflected in the earlier opinion polls. We also believe there was an element of the No vote today for which the wording did not go far enough and as the campaign evolved it was clear the public wanted more.”


A few more constituency results in the family referendum vote from around the country.

In Cork North-Central, 42.57 per cent of voters turned out to the polls. The results on the amendment on family in the constituency are in: 11,254 voted Yes, while 24,933 per cent voted No.

In Kerry, the No vote was 33,741 and the Yes vote 13,580. The turnout in the constituency was 42.6 per cent.

Limerick County also voted No, with 21,602 No and 8,145 Yes ballots recorded.

An unofficial tally from Cavan-Monaghan also indicates that it will be a strong No vote there in the family referendum, with the tally indicating that close to four out of five voters who turned out voted against the amendment.

Meanwhile, Louise Walsh had a look at some of the 21 spoiled votes in the Meath West constituency, which she reports were used to vent people’s feelings on current issues. ‘Free Gaza’, ‘RTÉ', and ‘define durable relationships’ were all scribbled across voting papers, as some voters used their votes as a soap box. ‘Waste of taxpayers money’ was written across another, as counting continues at the count centre in Trim GAA club.


Leas-Cheann Comhairle Catherine Connolly has described the Government’s handling of the referendums as a “cynical exercise”, and said they have “utterly failed carers”, Andrew Hamilton reports from Salthill in Galway.

The Galway Independent TD says the Government has failed to listen to the will of the people and also blamed advisers on “huge salaries” for mismanaging the referendums.

“There is a very strong message here for the Government and the Opposition parties, they utterly failed to read the will of the people, they failed to listen and they failed to look. That has been obvious to me for some time,” she said.

“I think this was a cynical exercise from day one. To call it on International Women’s Day was very bad judgment. They were presuming and pre-empting the will of the people by telling us that this will be good for women and hosting it on International Women’s Day. That was a very bad decision.”

Ms Connolly feels that the Government has wasted an opportunity to make real positive changes to the Constitution. She said the issue of carers and care should have been addressed with an entirely separate article.

“The two parts of Article 41 which deal with the mother in the home, the concept behind that is excellent, that no mother should ever be obliged to work outside the home because of economic necessity.

“Do we need to change the wording around that? Absolutely, but the answer is to tease that wording out at committee and at least change the wording to ‘mother and father’.”


Social Democrats leader Holly Cairns said the referendums results are a “direct consequence of a rushed and confused campaign”, Shauna Bowers reports from Dublin Castle.

Ms Cairns criticised the delayed publication of the wording of the amendments, and the holding of the referendums on International Women’s Day.

“The low voter turnout yesterday, and the resounding ‘No’ result, is due to the Government’s failure to properly engage with the public from the outset of this shambolic referendum campaign,” she said.

“The electorate were confused by the wording of the family amendment – and the implications of it on things like succession rights – and unimpressed at the lack of ambition in the care referendum.”

Ms Cairns said she is “disappointed” the family referendum failed, but acknowledged a No vote on the care amendment looked “increasingly likely” in recent days.

“Many carers and disabled people are tired of receiving nothing more than lip service from successive governments. This record of failure, and absence of trust, lies at the heart of this failed referendum.”


Some more results in the family referendum are starting to come in now from around the country.

The voters of Galway East have firmly rejected the family amendment, with just over 72 per cent of people voting No. Fewer than 8,000 people voted Yes. With 70,758 potential voters in Galway East, the turnout was just over 40 per cent.

The people of Meath West have voted No on the issue of family. The result was announced by returning officer Des Foley at the count centre at the Trim GAA club. Out of 29, 420 valid votes out of a total electorate of 74,871, 21,157 voted No and 8,263 voted Yes.

Just over 67 per cent have voted No on the family issue in Meath East, where 20,931 voted No and 10,035 voted Yes at the count centre in Ashbourne.

In Galway-Roscommon, the No vote was also passed comfortably, with 21,173 voting No and 7,441 voting Yes.


Tánaiste Micheál Martin said the result of the referendums is “clear”, Shauna Bowers reports.

“The majority were not persuaded by the arguments for changing the Constitution in this way. It is a core strength of our Constitution that the people have the final say. We fully respect their decision,” he said.

Mr Martin said there is “no single reason” why the proposals were rejected and the Government will reflect on this.

“While the constitutional change was rejected, it is clear that the need for continued action to support families and to respect principles of equality was not challenged. Action on this will remain an important part of our work as we complete our mandate,” he added.


Hello, this is Laura Coates, and I’ll be updating you on referendums news and results this afternoon.

More results on the Family amendment are beginning to roll in.

In Cork East, where turnout was 42.49 per cent, 31.73 per cent voted Yes, with 68.27 per cent voting No.

In Galway-East, turnout stood at 40.83 per cent. A total of 27.98 per cent voted Yes, while 72.02 per cent voted No. Wexford (turnout 42.49 per cent) was also rather emphatic: 27.73 per cent voted Yes, and 72.27 per cent voted No.


The first formal results on 39th Amendment (Family) show that it narrowly passed in Dún Laoghaire, but was defeated in Cork South Central.

Dún Laoghaire – (Turnout: 45.5 per cent)

YES: 50.3 per cent

NO: 49.7 per cent

Cork South Central – (Turnout: 45.1 per cent)

YES 38.6 per cent

NO: 61.4 per cent


Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it is “clear at this stage” the two referendums have been “defeated comprehensively”, Shauna Bowers reports from Dublin Castle.

He said the Government accepted the result and took responsibility for it.

When you lose a referendum “this badly and by this margin”, it means there were a lot of people “who got this wrong and I’m certainly one of them”, Mr Varadkar said.

He said the Government failed to convince the public of the urgency of these referendums and this was “something we will have to reflect on”.

Mr Varadkar said this was the 13th referendum a Government has lost and there would not be any consequences as a result.

He said he did not believe Minister Roderic O’Gorman needed to resign in light of the outcomes.

There was “no particular boost” when a Government won a referendum but acknowledged it was “two wallops” for the Coalition, he said.


An Independent Senator has described the anticipated referendums results as a “triumph in a David and Goliath battle”.

Meath East senator Sharon Keogan said she was “delighted” that early tallies across the country were showing a landslide victory for the No campaign.

“This was a David and Goliath battle and there was a large push from the No side in the last week which I think took the Government and Opposition parties by surprise.

“There were fantastic advocates for the No side and I think the TV debates were instrumental in getting this result across the line.

“I think it was an awful insult to the women of Ireland to hold this referendum on International Women’s Day when the Government sought to remove the very important words women and mothers from that part of the Constitution.

Voting turnout in Meath East was 46 per cent with over 31, 200 voting while in Meath West 39 per cent of the 61,937 electorate voted.


The chairperson of Fine Gael in Galway believes that “fringe groups” such as non-Government organisations (NGOs) had too much influence over the Government in the lead up to family and care referendums, Andrew Hamilton reports from Salthill in Galway.

Shane Dolphin, who is also a member of the party’s executive council, said that representatives of NGOs seem to have better access to influential members of the party, than the party’s own grass roots members.

“There is a question about what people might call fringe politics, around the NGO sector. I’d like to know who was pushing for this [referendum] within the Government. It seems that the NGOs have a lot of influence over Government policy,” he said.

“I know in the Fine Gael party and in Fianna Fáil as well, that a lot of the backbench TDs and Senators were quietly voting No while the party is putting out material for a Yes vote.

“It’s easier for someone from an NGO to talk to someone from the Dáíl than it is for someone from the party itself.”

Mr Dolphin said many people that he spoke to in the Galway area did not know what they were voting for.

“The Government really got this wrong. The whole body-politic got this wrong,” he said.

“All the political parties were in favour of this, nearly every NGO and large sections of the media were pushing for this. These referendums had everything going for it, and yet it failed.

“I think this is a push back against Government. There was a lack of understanding, people didn’t know what they were voting for.”


Back to Cavan and they have started sorting votes in advance of counting, Seamus Enright reports.

Counting is expected to begin within at least the next hour, with a possible final result known by early evening.

There were 260 boxes opened today, with 136 from Cavan. The remainder covered neighbouring Monaghan (118) and North Meath (6), and all appeared, from initial viewing at least, to indicate a strong lean towards No on both the Family and Care referendums.

The White ballots, for Family, will be counted first, followed by votes cast on Green Paper, for the Care amendment.

This will be the last time the people of North Meath have their votes counted alongside the people of Cavan and Monaghan. Cavan-Monaghan is to be retained as a five-seater constituency for the purposes of the next General Election, but are set to return to the Meath West constituency in future.

Electoral districts from north Meath were drafted into Cavan-Monaghan at the last review in 2017.

This previously happened to West Cavan in 2012 when sliced from Cavan-Monaghan and added to a diverse constituency including Sligo, Leitrim and South Donegal.

Independent Cllr Shane P O’Reilly says the Government have serious questions to answer for the manner in which these proposed amendments to the Constitution were put to the people of Ireland.

“I think it's fair to say that going on today’s results that the Irish people have a question over the durable relationship of Leo, Micheál and Eamon.”

Aontú local election candidate Grainne McPhilips felt that her party was one of the only to truly full engage with the scrutinising the process.

“The Constitution being the fundamental legal document of our country, it’s no place for poorly written and thought out amendments. The untold consequences of these amendments passing, if these were to pass, would play havoc on the systems of this country,” she said.


Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman has said he is disappointed with the results that are coming in, but he accepts it, reports Jennifer Bray in Dublin Castle.

He said the policy work that the Government will undertake on carers will continue. Asked if his position was tenable, he said he will not be resigning. He said he will continue the work he has been doing in terms of supporting childcare and the needs of vulnerable people. Asked why the proposals failed, and if he took personal responsibility, he incorrect issues were raised in the campaign. “I think people didn’t see the urgency of the change here.”

He was also asked about the leaking of the attorney general’s advice. “It’s really frustrating to see partial attorneys general advice leaked at the end of the campaign.” He said if you look at the section that was leaked it “clearly states immigration decisions wouldn’t be changed by the family referendum”.


Five hours after the count began and we see the first appearance of a public representative as local Independent Cllr Kathleen Shanagher pays a visit to the Hyde Centre, Richard Canny reports from Roscommon.

In relation to the care referendum, she said it was clear that carers were not happy with the wording, particular the word “strive”.

“It was the one word we were hearing about in the care referendum, and it just didn’t resonate with people. I think this is going to be a wake-up call that giving a family a carer for half an hour a day is not enough,” she said.

Speaking generally about both referendums, Cllr Shanagher believed that the public were “bamboozled” with a lot of information that did not make it simple for people to understand.

Meanwhile, staff are taking a staggered lunch so the count continues apace.


Michael Healy-Rae has accused the major political parties of being “out of touch” with Ireland and its people., Anne Lucey reports from Kerry.

“Sinn Féin, Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael, The Greens, Labour, The Social Democrats – they have one thing in common, everyone of them they don’t have a clue what’s happening in Ireland today.”

It had been obvious to him with months the referendums was going to be defeated.

“I have been out canvassing with months (for the local elections) Not one person told me they were voting Yes,” he said.

He voted No. A lot of other things that were being said in the Dáil would be rejected if put to the people, he also said.

The political parties were out of touch and this would be reflected in the next local and European elections too.

“They are extremely out of touch,” Mr Healy-Rae said.

He was speaking at the count centre in Killarney where both questions appear to have been massively rejected.


Michael McDowell is at Dublin Castle with members of the Equality Not Care campaign. The group sought a No vote in the Care referendum.


Bryan O’Brien has been speaking with politics correspondent Jennifer Bray at Dublin Castle.

She says that that ‘it looks like it will be a No, No result’.

You can check out our coverage on TikTok too.


Sinn Féin leader Mary Lou McDonald has laid the blame squarely at the feet of the Government, despite the party backing a Yes Yes vote, Jennifer Bray reports.

She also said, despite earlier promises, that the party would not rerun the referendum as the proposition, as it was asked, had failed.

She was also heckled by protesters at the press conference.

Ms McDonald accused the Government of failing to consult the Opposition and other stakeholders. Despite Sinn Féin TD Maurice Quinlivan earlier calling for Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman to stand down, Ms McDonald declined to call for that and instead said the whole Government should go.

“Think it’s a great pity that the Government went on this kind of solo run,” she said, adding that there was a lack of clarity for people.

“If there is one big takeaway message from this is, it is that support for people with disabilities as equals citizens and support for carers is something that has to be taken seriously by Government.

“The propositions that has been put by the Government has failed. So there’s no question of rerunning those questions, the people have come out and they’ve spoken very, very definitively,” she said of the prospect of Sinn Féin rerunning the referendum.


David Raleigh reports: They’ve gone ballot-bat crazy here at the Limerick count centre. One of the counting staff, Laurence Callaghan, had the unenviable task of removing the bat from the count centre this morning.

They have named the bat Count Refula


Marese McDonagh reports from Sligo-Leitrim:

A Green Party candidate in the upcoming local elections in Sligo acknowledged that both amendments were expected to be rejected in the Sligo Leitrim constituency.

Film-maker Johnny Gogan who will contest the Sligo-Strandhill electoral area in the June election said lack of clarity in the care amendment wording and a low turnout might have been factors in what appears to be a large rejection of both referendums.

“The family one was quite clear,” he said

Speaking at the Sligo Leitrim count centre in the Sligo Park Hotel, Mr Gogan said the Green Party was the only party campaigning for a Yes vote in the constituency which had put up posters.

The environmental campaigner said he did not believe the outcome could be read as antigovernment vote.

“It could be turnout, not getting the vote out. And in the care one, a lack of clarity or doubt. So people said ‘I am going to err on the side of caution”.

The Green Party candidate said he would not read too much into the results in terms of upcoming elections. “I think there was a degree of fatigue and disinterest as so much is happening at the moment”.

He said he did believe there was a lack of campaigning by other parties.

“Referendums can be like that. Remember the children’s referendum – an incredibly important issue but there was a very low turnout”.


Seamus Enright reports from Cavan-Monaghan:

The first tallies from North Meath are in, with six boxes in total to count.

In one box, from the Meath Hill area, the care amendment appears to have been voted down by close to 82 per cent, and family by nearer 96 per cent.

In Kilmainhamwood the tallies were 3:1 in favour of no; and at an average of around 5:1 at St Clare’s National School in Cavan Town. A tally from a booth in the Scouts Den in Cavan Town returned close to 75 per cent in favour of No in the family referendum. On the care vote, the tally was running closer to 80 per cent against.

Independent Councillor Shane P O’Reilly welcomed the high number of people the east of the county and Ballyjamesduff Municipal District area who exercised their right to vote on Friday.

He was particularly interested to see that in one box in his hometown of Mullagh, at St Kilian’s National School, that the No vote appeared to show 93 per cent in favour.

“I think it's fair to say that going on today’s results that the Irish people have a question over the durable relationship of Leo, Micheál and Eamon.”

Cllr O’Reilly voted yesterday, attending the polling station with his son Conor and two nieces casting their votes for the first time.

As he exited the station he says he met two more young first time voters, who “both shouted at me ‘No No, up Shane P!’”.


David Raleigh reports from the Limerick count centre:

Limerick Sinn Féin TD, Maurice Quinlivan has called for Roderic O’Gorman, Green Party Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth, to resign over his handling of the Government’s referendum campaign.

Speaking in Limerick today as indications were that the country had rejected the Government and Yes side, Deputy Quinlivan said: “This has been a catastrophic failure by Government who, in their arrogance, listened to nobody.”

“There was no prelegislative scrutiny, even though Sinn Féin and others requested this and the Children’s Committee was willing to sit for as long as it took.”

“The Government arrogantly pressed on without clarifying issues that they knew would cause problems.”

Deputy Quinlivan continued: “Specific interventions by An Taoiseach around Care with his Thatcherite-type comments, Micheál Martin’s arrogant mansplaining on TV isolated a load of people, the use of the word “strive” sent a shudder through most Carers, and many people with disabilities felt left behind.”

“We also learn the attorney general’s advice explicitly said there would be problems with the wording that the Government tried to downplay.”

“What we should’ve been voting on yesterday is the right to housing.”

“When you take the people for granted and don’t bother to explain things in a clear, concise way, fail to campaign, this is what you get.”

“The catastrophic failure of this campaign is a Government problem and I am calling for Roderic O’Gorman to resign immediately.”


Richard Canny in Roscommon:

All 140 boxes from the Roscommon-Galway constituency have now been opened as the count continues.

No tallies are taking place at the count to help give a clear picture of trends but snapshots of many ballot papers are indicating a strong No vote.

A turnout figure is expected to emerge around lunchtime.

No representative from any of the political parties has yet appeared at the count centre.


There was a slow start to voting at St Anthony’s National School in Ballinlough in Cork yesterday morning with the only bustle of activity arising out of the arrival of Tánaiste Micheál Martin to cast his ballot, Olivia Kelleher reports.

Mother and daughter, Niamh Ni Mhaolain and Siothmhaith Nic Fhlannchadha expressed surprise at how quiet the voting centre was given the level of engagement on issues in the community in recent days.

Ms Nic Fhlannchadha had felt that more young people like herself would have turned out at the polls.

“There was a lot of talk about it. But when we were inside (at 9.40am) we were told we were the 39th to vote so there isn’t a big turnout this morning. Inside in the polling station they said it was very quiet.”

She said that the voting was a mixed bag for her.

“I voted Yes to the first one and No to the second one. And No to the second one for the carers. I would be very strong about family and that everybody would have the same rights.

“With the second part I have been speaking to a lot of carers and they are very strong about the No. I felt the language was difficult to understand.”

Her mother Niamh Ni Mhaolain said there was so much discussion about the voting that she thought it would have galvanised people to vote.

“People seemed polarised enough so you would imagine they would come out. But there is a long way to go yet.

“I voted Yes and No. I was nearly going to go No for the two. I am not clear on it. It is not that I have very strong feelings for the second part, it is just clarity. If you vote No they will come back with other wording.

“We know some carers and they felt very strongly about it. So I feel if you say No they come back with another wording that might be more suitable.”

Meanwhile, Ballinlough man Gene Byrne said he felt that there was a lack of “proper information” in relation to the Referendum.

“The wording is not good enough to be truthful. I listened to Michael McDowell who is a very bright, intelligent man. He has a legal brain. I have listened to others.

“I have listened to people with disabled kids and they have a real worry that if anything happens them that it will be left to sisters or someone else to mind them. Not the State which I wouldn’t agree with.

“I had a sister for 38 years in a wheelchair and I know exactly what it was likely for my mother to mind her by herself really and with the support of her family. But there has to be State input to people that require it really.”

Mr Byrne said that he had opted to vote No on both ballot papers.

“I don’t think the wording is safe enough. I don’t think it is good enough. I have read it and gone over it and if you listen to a lot of legal people they wasn’t enough thought put into the wording. Not for a constitutional issue.”

Voter Maureen O’Neill said that she considered the referendum to be a “total waste of money”.

“I don’t think there was any need for it. The Constitution is as it is. I think there has been confusion as to what constitutes a ‘durable relationship.’ I mean who is going to decide that. Will you have to go to court for that? It will cost you money.”

Michael O’Neill said that he thought the whole campaign was “very rushed”.

“The No side explained their situation much stronger than the Yes side. I think Michael McDowell was very articulate in explaining his side of the propositions. He was for the No vote and I think he was very strong in his arguments.

“Spending twenty million for something that didn’t capture the imagination of the public at all. I don’t see why we should be rushed in to it.”

Pensioner Mary Heneghan said that it was a resounding Yes vote for her on both ballot papers.

“I felt confident (in my vote). I reflected on it and I feel the changes that have taken place in our country over the last years since the Constitution was formed we have to take that in to account. But people are free to follow their conscience.”


We’re heading to Galway West now where is Inisheer set to vote Yes.

The Aran island of Inisheer looks set to be one of the few areas in the country to return a Yes vote in either the care or family referendums, Andrew Hamiliton reports.

A tally of votes for the tiny island indicates a 53 per cent Yes vote in the family referendum, with 48 people voting Yes and 42 voting No.

The Green Party are conducting a partial tally of votes in the Galway West constituency and the Inisheer box is the only one to return a Yes majority to date.

Green Party councillor for South Connemara, Alastair McKinstry, says the wording of both referendums was an issue and many people “didn’t understand what was going on”. He also said that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael didn’t put in enough effort to secure a Yes vote.

“It is clear that we underestimated the confusion and we failed to get the message across to the general public. There is a large number of people who didn’t understand what was going on. We need to take away that message from this,” he said.

“I think it [the wording] was an issue. After the major constitutional battles of the last few years, people have become used to expecting major things out of constitutional referendums. This was expected to be a clean-up of obsolete wording and there was a lot of suspicion and a lot [of people] failed to grasp that fact. We didn’t get that message across.

“There wasn’t enough campaigning about the matter after the wording was announced. There was a sense that this was a Green referendum because we pushed to get the obsolete language out of the Constitution.

“With the local elections coming up, everybody was saving their money for them. There wasn’t enough effort, I think, put in by the other parties. They didn’t want to waste time on this election which they thought would just pass.”

Galway City councillor, Niall Murphy (GP), says the margin of victory for No in both referendums could be quite large in Galway.

“All our tallies are showing a heavy No vote on both referendums. It will be at least two to one, but it could be as much as three to one. Which is significant,” he said.

“I can’t think of any referendum where all the major parties were in favour of it, and yet the vote very much went against what was proposed.

“We need to take it on the chin. We as the people who canvassed for Yes, we didn’t do a good enough job of communicating the message. Some of it was legally technical, some of it was difficult to communicate.

“I do think a lot of people didn’t fully understand what was proposed and the feeling is, if they didn’t understand it, they shouldn’t vote for it.”


Barry Roche reports provisional early tallies suggest that both referendums look set to be defeated in both Cork North Central and Cork South Central, the home constituency of Tánaiste Micheál Martin.

Although political parties were not conducting any official organised tallies at the count centre in Nemo Rangers GAA complex on the Douglas Road, individual councillors were taking some tallies.

Independent Cork County Cllr Ben Dalton estimated that boxes from Ballygarvan and Ballinora in the rural part of Cork South Central were returning 70-80 per cent No on both referendums.

Fellow Cork County Cllr Jack White of Fine Gael had been watching counting of boxes from Ballea Road and Kilmoney in Carrigaline and again estimated that the No side was winning the day by 70 per cent.

Meanwhile Cork County Cllr Sean O’Donovan of Fianna Fáil was looking at some boxes from Matehy and Vicarstown in Cork North Central and estimated that No was again comfortably ahead.

“Looking at some of the papers from Matehy, No seemed to be well ahead by 60-70 per cent plus – most of the votes seemed to be either No/No or Yes/Yes – there seemed to be very few spoiled votes.”


Hi, my name is Jennifer Cosgrove and I am taking over from Fiachra. We are heading to Cork next to get a look at some early tallies coming in from the rebel county.


Bryan O’Brien has been speaking with Ivana Bacik at Dublin Castle.

She says that the responsibility of a “disappointing result” lies with the Government.

‘They got this wrong’: Expected result is a kick in the teeth for the Government, says Fine Gael’s Galway chair

Andrew Hamilton has the latest from Co Galway.

The expected outcome of the care and family referendums has been described as “a right kick in the teeth for the Government” by the Chairman of Galway Fine Gael. Early tallies from Galway East indicate a strong No vote in both referendums.

A partial tally conducted by members of the Fine Gael and Green parties at the count centre in Headford has seen significant No votes, with several boxes recording No votes in excess of 80 per cent.

A tally of the votes from Eyrecourt returned a 73 per cent No vote in the family referendum and an 80 per cent No vote in the care referendum. A similar tally from Moyglass, a very rural area, returned a 68 per cent voting No in the family referendum and an 81 per cent voting No in the care referendum.

One box from the Headford area, an urban part of the constituency, returned a 76 per cent No vote in both the family and care referendums.

Chairman of Galway Fine Gael, Shane Dolphin, says the Government got these referendums wrong.

“I’m not surprised at this [result] at all, but it is a right kick in the teeth for the Government. They got this wrong, simple as that,” he said.

The Green Party’s representative in East Galway, Eoin Madden, said the major political parties did not do enough to win these referendums.

“What we are seeing is an overwhelming No vote, with no difference between urban and rural areas. I found that the people on the doorsteps wanted to talk about this [the referendums] but I don’t think enough people went out canvassing about it,” he said.

“I’m not surprised with the result. A lot of people had a lot of questions and the main parties did not go out there and explore the questions.”


Green Party leader Eamon Ryan admits that the Government is heading for defeat.

“From what [we’re] hearing around the country, it does look like a No vote in both the Family and Care referendums,” he said. “We obviously have to respect that.”


Senator Michael McDowell says that the Coalition “misjudged the mood of the electorate”.


Jennifer Bray is at Dublin Castle with this update:

Speaking outside Dublin Castle, Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín said Minister for Equality Roderic O’Gorman has “serious questions to answer now in relation to this.”

Mr Tóibín said it was “incredible that Aontú was the only political party that campaigned against this.” He said there is a bubble in the world of politics and that the Opposition also have questions to answer.


Jessica Martin reports from Waterford city:

The sorting of 171 boxes in Waterford is just halfway through, having commenced when the tags were clipped off at 9am at the Butler Community Centre in the city.

Unofficial tallies calculated by onlookers have estimated a 70 per cent No vote in most areas in Waterford for both referendums.

One of the highest estimates for the Yes vote for the 39th Amendment (The Family) was tallied at 35.9 per cent in the Ballygunner area of Waterford, with the No vote at 64 per cent in that area. In Kilmacthomas Rural, the tally stood at 6.6 per cent for Yes, with 93.4 per cent voting No in the Family referendum.

Waterford City had an estimated turnout of 53 per cent in St John’s Park, with the turnout for Farronshoneen in the city at 42 per cent. The official total poll is expected closer to midday.

In Waterford, the total electorate is 86,557.

‘They have fooled us for long enough’: No-No voters in Co Roscommon criticise wording of proposed amendments

Marese McDonagh was in Co Roscommon on Friday, gauging the mood among voters.

“It is a straight No. There is no other way. They have fooled us long enough”, said a very cross older woman as she exited the polling station in Boyle.

It turned out that her “No No” vote was typical, at least among the steady trickle of predominantly older lunchtime voters who spoke to The Irish Times after doing their civic duty in Scoil na nAingeal Naofa.

Out of 15 people surveyed, 11 (10 of them women) described themselves as No No, while there were just three “Yes Yes” voters, two of them men. One young man said he had “said yes to the green (care amendment) and no to the white (family amendment)”.

“I said ‘no’ to both because I do not understand the wording – I mean what is a durable relationship,” said local woman Laura Tighe. “I count myself as fairly intelligent but I said no because I felt I am not changing the Constitution for something I don’t fully understand,” she added.

Retired nurse and former psychotherapist Regina Spellman also rejected both amendments having been convinced by listening to the arguments put forward by campaigner and senior counsel Michael McDowell. “He actually just reinforced my own gut feeling on both,” she said.

Carmel Regan also voted No to both because in her view the information provided to the electorate was not clear enough. “I don’t like this ‘durable relationships’”, she said. “The whole thing is very vague”. In her view the care amendment puts the onus on family members to care for vulnerable relatives whether they are able to or not. “The onus should be on the State,” she said.

Margaret Coughlan voted No because “you can’t take the mother out of the Constitution”. She said both proposals were “badly worded and very confusing”. She said older people she meets through her work as a carer were confused about terms like “sustainability and durability”. She also rejected the carers’ amendment because while “carers do need support but they should go back to the drawing board and get a better wording.”

Karen Farrell voted Yes to both because she believed the status accorded to women as mothers in the Constitution should be extended to others regardless of their gender. On the care referendum she felt that “the wording is not perfect but it is a beginning”.

Another voter who approved both amendments was local photographer Tony Murphy who said Ireland had moved on since the Constitution was written and it was time to reflect those changing values when it comes to, for example, same sex marriages and relationships.

“I have close friends in same sex relationships who have adopted children and those families are very successful. I don’t think because a man and a woman are rearing a family it is going to be any more or any less successful and it is important for us to recognise that”.

Agnes McGuire said she was undecided up to the last minute but voted No to both as she like “a lot of my friends” was confused. “I tried to read up on it but I feel they didn’t give us much information”.

Helen Smith also voted No to both. “They weren’t worded correctly. I think the whole thing was rushed. They should come back to us with proper wording”.


Anne Lucey reports from Co Kerry:

Early tallies of Tralee and Castleisland boxes indicate overwhelming No vote on both questions.

Minster for Education Norma Foley is at the Killarney count centre, where most ballot boxes are now open.

Blennerville, outside Tralee, is where Ms Foley voted on Friday. There, out of 173 votes cast in the Family referendum, there were 54 Yes votes and 119 No votes.

From the Kilmurry School voting station, near Castleisland, there were strong indications towards a No vote in the Care referendum. A similar trend was emerging in the tallies from Balloonagh, near Tralee, and Scartaglin.


Political Editor Pat Leahy has an update on Government reaction to the early tallies:

Senior Government sources are privately acknowledging that the referendum results are going against them. In private messages and whatsapp groups, the blame game is well under way. Fingers are pointing at the Greens, at the Taoiseach, the Tánaiste, NGOs, backbenchers, frontbenchers ... There’ll be plenty of blame to go around.


Senator Michael McDowell, who campaigned for a rejection of both amendments, is at the RDS count centre.


In Meath East, the turnout at the polls on Friday was 46 per cent, reports Louise Walsh.

Ballot boxes continue to be opened at the count centre in the Donaghmore Ashbourne GAA club on Saturday morning.

Very early tallies around boxes opened from Stackallen, Slane, Yellow Furze, Ashbourne and Ratoath suggest a No verdict in both referendums, according to tally men.


With 6 per cent of the ballot boxes tallied in the Louth constituency, it’s going one way: in both referendums, over 70 per cent of votes tallied rejected proposed changes to the Constitution.


More early tallies, more No-No boxes. RTÉ's Brian O’Donovan tweets these Dublin North West tallies.


Our Political Correspondent Jennifer Bray has some snap analysis on the early tallies.

The early tallies are in – and it’s not good news for the Government.

Labour’s Kevin Humphreys, a veteran of the count centre, has posted early tallies from Ringsend showing a definitive No vote to the family and care referendums. Although it is a tally from only one box, and it is early days, other tallies from around the country are showing similar trends.

Early tallies from across Tipperary showed the result leaning No. In some boxes in Dublin North West, tallies showed a 70-30 split No to Yes in the care referendum. There also appears to be a strong No vote in Galway East.


In Roscommon town, returning officer Mary Raftery has confirmed that the total electorate for Roscommon-Galway is 66,184, reports Richard Canny.

A lot of boxes have still to be opened as count staff continue to sort ballot papers.

The family referendum votes will be counted first, but there is no indication yet as to when this count will be completed.


Here’s a talley from the Glasnevin count centre, in the Dublin North West constituency. Another indication of a No-No vote, although the margin is very close in the Family referendum count.


Sorting of votes from 140 boxes is under way at the Roscommon-Galway constituency at the count centre in the Hyde Centre, Roscommon town, reports Richard Canny.

The ballot papers for the 39th Amendment and the 40th Amendment are being separated into piles before counting gets under way.


We have turnout figures for some Co Cork constituencies.

Cork South Central was 45.5 per cent.

In Cork North Central, 42.9 per cent.


Sorting of votes is under way for the Sligo-Leitrim constituency at the count centre in the Sligo Park hotel, reports Marese McDonagh.

All 215 boxes have been opened. While no official tally is taking place, observers are predicting a resounding No vote in the family amendment, based on scrutiny of a number of boxes in Sligo town.

A small number of interested people are conducting individual tallies and one man said the No vote in the family amendment was as high as 90 per cent in one box.

In another box in Sligo town, it was estimated that 60 per cent had voted against the family amendment.


Some early tallies are cropping up.

Former Labour TD Kevin Humphreys tweets this early tally from a count centre in Ballyfermot. The indication is a very strong No-No vote.


Bad weather has slightly delayed the delivery of some ballot boxes at the Galway West count centre.


The ballot boxes are now open, counting has begun. Results on both referendums are expected at Dublin Castle later this evening.


On Friday night, there was growing anxiety within Government over the results of the referendums on family and care as voters stayed home in their droves after a campaign that failed to ignite widespread public interest.

Reports of slow voting across the country throughout Friday led to scepticism among some in Government circles that turnout would reach 40 per cent.

There was also a level of pessimism at the likely result with sources conceding that one or both of the referendums could fail on a very low turnout.

As of early Friday evening, just 25 per cent of voters had cast a ballot in Dublin city, but in Galway by 8.30pm turnout was reported as being between 29 per cent and 41 per cent.

Read our full report on voter turnout here.


A chill breeze was blowing in off the lake at St Ita’s National School in Loughrea, Co Galway on Friday morning, biting at the ears of those making their way inside to vote, reports Andrew Hamilton.

Judging by the response of local people leaving the polling station, the Government will face stronger than expected headwinds if it hopes to pass the referendums on family and care.

Local auctioneer, Martin Shaughnessy (72), said that the referendums have been “rushed through” and that the wording of the family amendment in particular will lead to legal chaos if it is adopted.

“I have no problem at all telling you how I voted. I agreed with the one about the women’s place in the home [care referendum] but the other referendum is completely wrong and is going to lead to a huge amount of litigation. The only people who are going to make money out of this are the solicitors and barristers,” he said.

“I am a local auctioneer here in town. Just imagine a lady has a house in town here, she has a tenant for ten years in the house and everything is going well. Let’s say something happens to the lady who owns the house, the next thing, the tenant can say that they have a durable relationship with the landlady and put in a claim for the house. How is that going to work out?

“These referendums have been rushed through big time. Even on the ballot paper itself it doesn’t show what you are voting for, you have to look at it on a separate sheet and read that first. There are people going in there, they are marking X and Y and they have the wrong thing marked.”

Loughrea woman Ciara Walsh (43), brought her young daughter Lynn to the polling station to give her some experience of democracy in action.

According to Ms Walsh, the language of the care referendum in particular was too “wishy washy”.

“The lack of information was a big influence to how I voted. If they [the Government] are not convincing enough in the argument for a Yes, that is an issue. That was an issue for me for the care referendum certainly. There was a lack of information, a lack of compelling information I think,” she said.

“I did a lot of research myself and looking into things. There wasn’t a great sense of [the Government saying] this is where we are, this is where we are going and this is why.

“If you go searching for information, there is a lot there, but it was very wishy washy.”

Loughrea-based solicitor, Chris O’Shea (34), believes that the language of the referendums will lead to confusion and that both will be closely fought.

“I’m a solicitor myself and I thought that the language being proposed would lead to more confusion rather that actually clarifying things for the first amendment [family]. That gives you an indication of how I voted,” he said.

“It was the same for both referendums, I thought the language wasn’t clear and I think that that is an important thing.

“It has been quiet, the referendums haven’t really captured the public imagination. I got the view that the Government saw this as an open goal, that it was going to sail through. But from chatting to people, certainly around here, I think that it will be a lot tighter.”


Yesterday, voters were asked about two proposed changes to our Constitution.

The Family Amendment

The first proposed change – the 39th Amendment – deals with Article 41.1.1 and Article 41.3.1.

At present, Article 41.1.1 reads: “The State recognises the Family as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.”

Article 41.3.1 reads: “The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage, on which the Family is founded, and to protect it against attack.”

Voters were asked if they approved of updating the text of Article 41.1.1 to include a reference to “durable relationships”.

If the referendum passes, the article will read: “The State recognises the Family, whether founded on marriage or on other durable relationships, as the natural primary and fundamental unit group of Society, and as a moral institution possessing inalienable and imprescriptible rights, antecedent and superior to all positive law.”

The amendment also seeks to removed some of Article 41.3.1. The proposed change to would see the reference to marriage being “founded” on the family being removed.

The updated article would read: “The State pledges itself to guard with special care the institution of Marriage and to protect it against attack.”

The Care Amendment

The 40th Amendment to the Constitution proposes deleting Articles 41.2.1 and 41.2.2 and inserting a new Article 42B.

Article 41.2.1: “In particular, the State recognises that by her life within the home, woman gives to the State a support without which the common good cannot be achieved.”

Article 41.2.2: “The State shall, therefore, endeavour to ensure that mothers shall not be obliged by economic necessity to engage in labour to the neglect of their duties in the home.”

If the referendum passes, both of the above articles will be replaced by Article 42B: “The State recognises that the provision of care, by members of a family to one another by reason of the bonds that exist among them, gives to Society a support without which the common good cannot be achieved, and shall strive to support such provision.”


Fiachra Gallagher, signing on – I’ll be managing live coverage of the referendum results here on, with the help of my colleagues reporting from various count centres around the country. Stay tuned.


So what do we know about turnout?

As of early yesterday evening, just 25 per cent of voters had cast a ballot in Dublin city, but in Galway by 8.30pm turnout was reported as being between 29 per cent and 41 per cent.

By late Friday evening reports of turnout in different parts of the Dún Laoghaire constituency ranged between 37 per cent and 46 per cent.

At around 7.30pm, the percentage was averaging around 42 per cent in Wicklow-Arklow, while turnout in the combined Bray-Greystones area in Co Wicklow late in the evening was 47.9 per cent.

A previous referendum with low turnout – the vote on children’s rights which saw 33.5 per cent of voters turn up to the polls – passed by 57.4 per cent, a lower support level than expected.

Turnout on Friday will not reach anywhere near the 60.5 per cent of the electorate that voted in the referendum on same sex marriage or 64.1 per who turned up for the referendum on repealing the Eighth Amendment on abortion.