• Voting is continuing on the Mayo and Galway islands in the 2019 European and Local elections, and the divorce referendum.

    Islanders traditionally vote a day ahead of the mainland, to ensure that ballot boxes are returned to the count centre  in time and are not impacted by bad weather at sea.

    However, this is expected to be the last time islanders will vote ahead of the rest of the country - after the Government recently approved a Bill from Galway-West TD Eamon O'Cuiv that would mean islanders voting on the same day as those on the mainland.

    Today, almost 200 voters on the Mayo islands of Inisturk, Inisbiggle and Clare Island are casting their votes, with polling stations on Clare Island and Inisbiggle remaining open until 8pm, and until 7.30 on Inisturk.





  • Around 200 voters will go to the polls today on the three Mayo islands.

    115 people are eligible to vote on Clare Island, 50 on Inishturk and 20 on Inishbiggle.

    Voting is taking place on 11 islands in total today off the Mayo, Galway and Donegal coasts while the mainland voters go the polls tomorrow, along with voters on the Cork islands.

  • Mayo Fianna Fail deputy Lisa Chambers says she holds her hands up and is sorry that she “mistakenly” voted last week in the Dail for Dara Calleary who was not in the chamber at the time.

    She told Midwest News today that it was “Thursday” and she was “tired” and “accidently voted” while sitting in Dara’s seat in the chamber. On realizing that her vote had not registered on the Dail screen, she quickly moved across to her own seat and voted again.

    She admits she knew she voted twice, but said she did not inform the teller because the vote was lost by such a large matter, she felt it made no difference.

    Her voting at Dara Calleary’s desk did not emerge until after her front bench colleagues Tommy Dooley and Niall Collins were asked by Micheal Martin yesterday to stand down from the frontbench pending a Ceann Comhairle investigation into Dail voting.

    Deputy Collins voted six times on behalf of deputy Timmy Dooley in the Dail on Thursday.

    Outlining to Midwest News this morning how the mistake happened, deputy Chambers, the party’s spokesperson on Brexit, said she’s confident that she will not be asked to step down from the front bench during the Ceann Comhairle’s investigation.

  • A Galway West TD has welcomed the publication of the report by the Joint Oireachtas Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government which looked at island voting.

    Fianna Fail Deputy Eamon O’Cuiv says he welcomes the report and supports the recommendation that the Electoral Amendment Voting on Islands Bill 2014 should proceed to Committee stage.

    Deputy O’Cuiv says the report marks another positive step in ensuring that islanders have the same rights as people living on the mainland with regard to voting times. He says islanders want to vote in elections and referenda on the same day as the rest of the country, rather than having to vote ahead of time.

    Deputy O’Cuiv says he has noted a number of points raised in the report, which he will be taking into account when framing his amendments to the Bill.

  • Mayo islanders go to the polls today in the 2019 Local and European elections and to vote on the referendum to divorce.

    For more than 2,000 islanders living off the coasts of Mayo, Galway and Donegal  - polling day is today. 

    This is expected to be the last time that islanders will vote ahead of the rest of the country. The next time the country goes to the polls – everyone will vote on the same day.

    Island voting, traditionally takes place a day ahead of the mainland to ensure that ballot boxes reach the counting centres in time, and are not impacted by bad weather on the


    Please note voting will take place in Scoil Phadraig at the new address at Newport Road, Westport.

    The old address at Altamount Street on polling cards is incorrect.

    The local Returning Officer apologies for any inconvenience caused.


    Voting turnout across county Mayo was at about 13 percent up till noon time today.

    With Ballina coming in at about 15 percent, Castlebar and Foxford 12 % approx, Westport 13 %, Ballyhaunis and Claremorris 12 % approx

    Turnout was described as high in the areas of Louisburgh, Lecanvey, Murrisk and Killeen – where the local #voteB4noon campaign got a big response. 40 percent of the electorate had voted in Louisburgh by 12 noon today. The community of the south Clew Bay area wanted to celebrate democracy today and so pushed for an early turnout of voters in an effort to encourage every voter to get out and use their democratic right to make a choice.

    Generally the long list of candidates on ballot papers is tending to delays voters at polling stations around the country when they are physically placing completed ballots into boxes at polling stations. The number of candidates listed on ballot papers for the European Parliament elections means voters are casting their preferences on pieces of paper up to 50cm long. Votes that have been folded multiple times are proving somewhat difficult to put into the slots in the ballot boxes.

    A similar problem is emerging in some local electoral areas, where there are lots of candidates contesting seats.

    Returning Officers have indicated that the segregation of ballot papers tomorrow morning as counts get underway, may also be slower due to the long ballot papers.

    In Mayo there are 238 polling stations in operation today to accommodate more than 104,000 voters.

    A polling card is not required to exercise your vote, voters with or without polling cards are advised to carry photo ID to the polling station.

    Polling stations opened at 7am this morning and will remain open until 10pm tonight.

    Mayo County Registrar Fintan Murphy told Midwest News today that there is no need for voters to fret if they arrive at a polling station at 10pm tonight and there is a queue ahead of them, once you are in at 10pm everyone in the line will be accommodated.

    Tomorrow the actual counting of votes gets underway in count centres right across the country. Midwest Radio will be covering the counts as they happen right across the region.

  • The polls in the referendum on the Eighth Amendment opened this morning at 7am.

    More than three million people are eligible to vote .

    The polling stations will stay open until 10pm this evening.

    There are 211 polling stations in operation today in county Mayo.

     Voters are being asked a Yes / No question in the ballot box.

    A Yes vote means repealing the 8th amendment and allowing the Oireachtas to legislate for abortion.

    A No vote will retain the 8th amendment as it is now.

    Voters should mark an X next to their choice.

    Your polling /voting card will tell you where your polling station is.

    If you haven't got a voting card, Mayo County Registrar Fintan Murphy told Midwest News this morning that you can still vote as long as you're on the register of electors. In that case you are advised to bring ID to the centre.

    No videos or photos, including selfies, can be taken in the polling station.

    You also shouldn't wear any jumpers, badges or merchandise promoting either side when you go to the station to vote.