Residents of 12 Irish islands cast referendum votes one day early
It has officially begun.
Residents of 12 offshore Irish islands will begin to cast their referendum votes one day early in order to ensure that their votes are transported to count centres on time.
The polling stations, which will be opening at various stages on Thursday, are situated off the north and north-west coasts.
The islands fall into the Donegal, Galway West and Mayo constituencies and account for 2,151 registered votes, excluding those added to the supplementary register.
The first polling stations opened at 9am on the three islands in County Mayo; Clare Island, Inishturk and Inishbiggle. These will remain open until 7pm.
At 10.30am, the 500 residents on Aranmore in Donegal were able to cast their ballots, with the station also remaining open until 7pm.
From 11am to 3pm, the 234 people on Tory Island, Inishbofin and Gola can visit their polling stations, while the polling station for the four registered residents of Inishfree is open from 12am to 2pm
In Galway West, polling stations on Inis Mór, Inis Meáin and Inis Oirr will open from 7pm to 10pm, with 700 of the 1,200 people registered across these islands living on Inis Mór.
However, the 460 registered voters on the seven islands in the Cork South-West constituency will cast their votes with the rest of the State on Friday, 25 May.
The ballot boxes from all polling stations will be transported under Garda escort to the local court office in each constituency on Thursday night, before being transferred to count centres on Friday night.