In line with recent tradition, both Donegal constituencies recorded a significant ‘No’ vote in the Children’s Referendum in one of the lowest turnouts ever recorded in Donegal.
Only one other constituency nationwide recorded a ‘No’ vote with only one third of voters nationally taking part.
At the St. John Bosco Centre in Donegal Town yesterday there was a sense of disappointment coupled with a widespread relief from those in support of the ‘Yes’ vote as it became apparent from the tallies that even though the constituency would record a ‘No’ vote, nationally the referendum would be passed, though not by as wide a margin as expected.
Donegal South West returned a ‘No’ vote of over 56%, while Donegal North East had one of the highest ‘No’ votes in the country at almost 60%.
Donegal South West was the first constituency in the country to declare yesterday morning at just before 12 noon with 6,523 voting ‘Yes’ and 8,463 voting ‘No’ in a valid poll of 14,986. On a percentage basis the result was 56.47% against and 43.53% in favour.
The turnout in Donegal South West was 23.81% which one commentator declared was the lowest that he could ever remember in the history of counts in the county.
Total Electorate: 63,229
Total Poll: 15.056
Invalid votes: 70
Valid Poll: 14,986
Yes Vote: 6,523
No Vote: 8463
In Donegal North East, 5,749 voted ‘Yes’ with 8,504 voted ‘No’ in a valid poll of 14,253. On a percentage basis the result was 59.66% against and 40.34% which was one of the biggest percentage ‘No’ votes nationally.
The turnout in Donegal North East was 24.47% was marginally higher but in general reflected the voting pattern in rural Ireland.
Total Electorate; 58,246
Total Poll; 14,253
Yes Vote: 5,749
No Vote: 8,504
Valid Poll: 14,253
A Fine Gael source said he felt the Government must be very careful about drafting new legislation in light of the outcome of the referendum.
Commenting on the fact that the two Donegal constituencies returned a ‘No’ vote, he said: “Many people have genuine concerns and this has to be carefully reflected in legislation.”
Nationally the Referendum was carried by 58% to 42% a figure that was much lower than anticipated by all the main political parties and with only a third of the valid electorate exercising their franchise there was considerable disappointment among those in the ‘Yes’ camp.
No doubt there will be a lot of soul searching over the next number of weeks.