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Tuesday 22 August 2017

French citizens flock to polling booths in Dublin and Cork

Victoria Araldi (24), from Chambery, casts her vote at the French Embassy in Dublin. Photo: Doug O’Connor
Victoria Araldi (24), from Chambery, casts her vote at the French Embassy in Dublin. Photo: Doug O’Connor

Ralph Riegel and Ian Begley

French citizens living in Ireland rushed to Dublin and Cork city centres to cast their votes in one of the most divisive elections in recent history.

The Irish Independent spoke to some of the 8,000 French people in Ireland entitled to vote inside the French Embassy in Dublin and in Cork's City Hall.

While the vast majority preferred the centrist Emmanuel Macron (39) over far-right leader Marine Le Pen (48), neither candidate seemed very popular amongst the voters.

Maud Meunier (42), from Champagne, said that Mr Macron was the "best out of a bad bunch" of candidates.

"I don't favour Macron as he doesn't have much political experience, but he is by far better than Le Pen in my opinion.

"I can't agree with anything she says. She's just anti-everything and has nothing positive to say and no solution to France's problems," she said.

According to JB De Villeneuve (70), from Provence, the two leading candidates have no business running France.

"It's an absolute disaster. We are left with two different people who are totally unable to govern a country."

Only one voter admitted to having voted for Le Pen.

"I agree with Le Pen on the basis that the EU needs to be reformed. I don't think it's a bad idea as a whole, but I feel it's too authoritarian at the moment. Macron is too soft on certain issues, especially immigration," said the 21-year-old man.

French Embassy deputy head of mission Lionel Paradisi-Coulouma said the response to the second voting booth in Cork was very positive. For the first round of the election, 728 of the 1,626 eligible French voters in Munster cast their ballots.

Irish Independent

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