Thursday 8 December 2016

Gardaí reject claims of 'Yes' bias in voter registration

Published 21/04/2015 | 02:30

Gardai at voter registration in UCC with ‘Yes’ posters in the background
Gardai at voter registration in UCC with ‘Yes’ posters in the background

Gardaí have denied a uniformed officer was distributing 'Yes' badges at a voter registration drive in Cork for next month's same-sex marriage equality referendum.

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Officers insisted the uniformed garda was at the event in University College Cork (UCC) simply to supervise a supplementary voter registration event in line with legal duties.

Sources denied the officer distributed 'Yes' badges or in any way endorsed either side of the referendum campaign.

The garda statement came after photos circulated on social media showing the officer sitting at a desk in the Boule Library in UCC near a pile of 'Yes' badges.

UCC sources confirmed that the 'Yes' badges were distributed by Student Union volunteers.

Gardaí must ensure supervision of such voter registers under the Electoral Act.

The row erupted just 24 hours after controversy over a 'Yes' campaign photo-call at Pearse Street Garda Station in Dublin.

Gardaí later said the involvement of uniformed officers was "inappropriate."

Irish Independent

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