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Monday 19 February 2018

Turnout is low as islanders cast votes

Anita Guidera

THE first votes in the 2011 presidential election were cast yesterday on some of the country's most remote islands.

Turnout was low, as islanders on five islands off the coast of Donegal took to the high seas in some cases to vote for the next president and in two government referendums.

Weather conditions were reasonable and did not hamper election officers and voters travelling to the different locations.

A total of 937 people are registered to vote on the five islands -- Arranmore, Tory, Gola, Inishbofin and Inishfree.

With just 25 people registered on Gola, an impressive 14 made the short crossing to the island from Magheragallon in Gweedore. This was 56pc of the electorate and could end up being the highest turnout nationally.

Out of a total of 139 people registered to vote on Tory, just 58, or 42pc, cast their votes. On Inishbofin, turnout was dismal, with just seven out of 67 voting.

Meanwhile, on the largest island of Arranmore, where 698 people are registered, voters were slow to go to the polls. By teatime, just over 20pc had turned out but a late rush boosted the final poll to over 40pc.

Today, 184 people on three islands off the Mayo coast can cast their votes, while tomorrow polling takes place across the Aran Islands.

Remaining islanders will vote on Thursday.

Irish Independent

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