As It Happened - Children's Referendum countTuesday 13 November 2012 11.18
The Children's Referendum has been passed, though not by as wide a margin as had been expected.
With results in from all 43 constituencies, the Yes side vote had 58% to 42% for the No side.
Three constituencies rejected the amendment; Donegal North East, Donegal South West and Dublin North West.
There was a low voter turnout of 33.53%, the lowest since the 1996 referendum on bail.
- The referendum has been passed by 615,731 votes (58.01%) to 445,863 (41.9)
- The margin of victory was 169,868 votes
- Donegal South West, Donegal North East and Dublin North West voted No to the referendum
1445 Taoiseach Enda Kenny has reacted to the referendum result.
In a statement, Mr Kenny said: "I welcome the positive result of the Children's referendum. It is a historic day for the children of Ireland as it is the first time the Constitution of this Republic will recognise them as citizens in their own right.
“I thank the Irish people for exercising their democratic right to vote and I would also like to thank the various organisations that campaigned for a Yes vote.
“This Government has a deep commitment to families and children. The passing of this amendment will help make childhood a good, secure and loving space for all our children. It will also give hope, reassurance and confidence to parents, foster parents and vulnerable children.
“The Government will now move forward with the implementation of the decision of the people."
1408 Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin has said a higher No vote than expected is cause for reflection.
"The impact of the Supreme Court ruling was significant,” Mr Martin said.
"People trust their Supreme Court. The Government, including the Taoiseach and ministers involved in this campaign, have a lot of questions to answer now. They need to give a clear account of what happened," Deputy Martin said.
He believes the Government should have published the wording on the Children Referendum prior to the Dáil's summer recess.
He said he believed the wording was “deliberately held back”.
"I don't know for what reason, but to clarify the wording early would have given the Referendum Commission more time and allowed for wider public dissemination," he said.
Asked whether he had concerns regarding a legal challenge to the result, the Fianna Fail leader said though the result had been “clouded” the margin in favour indicated the final result would be safe.
1407 Meath West has passed the referendum – Yes 53.26% No 46.74%. Turnout was 31%. All constituencies have now confirmed their results.
1404 NATIONAL RESULT: The referendum has been passed by 615,731 votes (58.01%) to 445,863 (41.9%).
1346 The only constituency yet to confirm its result is Meath West. The Yes side is currently ahead by 58.1% to 41.9% on the national count.
1342 Cork North West has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 57.44% No 42.56%. Turnout was 35%.
1341 Cork East has passed the referendum – Yes 56.11% No 43.89%. Turnout was 34%.
1339 Cork South West has approved the referendum – Yes 56.58% No 43.42%. Turnout was 35%.
1338 Dún Laoghaire has passed the referendum – Yes 71.57% No 28.43%. Turnout was 42%.
1334 Dublin South East has approved the referendum – Yes 71.87% No 28.13%. Turnout 34%.
1333 Dublin North has passed the referendum - Yes 64.83% No 35.17%. Turnout was 36%.
1332 Dublin South has passed the referendum – Yes 73.03% No 26.97%. Turnout was 41%. That is the biggest majority for the Yes vote so far.
1331 The editor of Alive magazine, Fr Brian McKevitt, has said he accepts the democratic decision of the people.
However he has questioned the media, including RTÉ, and their coverage of the No side.
Fr Mc Kevitt also expressed concern at the money spent by children’s charities on the Yes campaign.
He asked why the media had not asked where their money had come from.
1328 Dublin North West has narrowly voted to reject the referendum – No 50.39% Yes 49.61%. Turnout was 36%.
1327 Dublin North Central has passed the referendum – Yes 63.31% No 36.69%. Turnout was 42%.
1327 Dublin West has approved the referendum – Yes 60.84% No 39.16%. Turnout was 35%.
1324 Dublin South West has passed the referendum – Yes 51.93% 48.07%. Turnout was 36%.
1323 Dublin North East has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 60.10% No 30.90%. Turnout was 39%.
1319 Dublin Central has passed the referendum – Yes 58.65% No 41.35%. Turnout was 32%.
1317 Cavan-Monaghan has approved the referendum – Yes 53.86% No 46.14%. Turnout was 28%.
1317 Dublin South Central has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 54.89% No 45.11%. Turnout was 35%.
1314 Kildare South has passed the referendum – Yes 57.79% No 42.21%. Turnout was 29%.
1312 Louth has approved the referendum – Yes 53.09% No 46.91%. It had looked earlier that the constituency would return a No vote. Turnout was 32%.
1311 Dublin Mid-West has passed the referendum, becoming the first Dublin constituency to announce an official result – Yes 55.21% No 44.79%. Turnout was 35%.
He said the proposal had been talked about "for 20 years", and during that time there had been a succession of reports on the abuse and mistreatment of children.
He said he was disappointed at the low voter turnout. He said the Government had decided to hold the vote on a Saturday and was conscious that it was something that was relatively new.
It will have to be looked at again for the future, the Tánaiste said, adding that it "may well be that people’s voting pattern works better with their working pattern than it does with the kind of routine that families have on a Saturday".
1309 A selection of some of the spoiled votes from Dublin North Central:
"Sort out the social workers first"
"Government here is totally incapable of looking after is people, if it could there would be no vulnerable children"
"What's the point"
"God save Ireland's children from exploitation"
"This is for the poor bankers from an OAP"
1306 Fine Gael TD for Donegal North-East Joe McHugh believes that the Government must be very careful about drafting new legislation in light of the outcome of the referendum.
Commenting on the fact that the two Donegal constituencies returned a no vote, he said: "Many people have genuine concerns and this had to be carefully reflected in legislation."
He said that it was important that the voice of people with concerns is taken into account and further debate is required.
Mr McHugh added that many people voted against the referendum as they have concerns over "over-zealous state intervention”.
1257 Galway West has passed the referendum – Yes 62.20% 37.80%. Turnout was 28%.
1255 Wexford has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 54.83% No 45.17%. Turnout was 33%.
1254 Mayo has passed the referendum - Yes 53.01% No 46.99%. Turnout was 32%.
1253 Roscommon-South Leitrim has approved the referendum – Yes 52.92% No 47.08%. Turnout was 34%.
1252 Kerry North-Limerick West has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 53.65% No 46.35%. Turnout was 29%.
1248 Meath East has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 59.80% No 40.20%. Turnout was 32%.
1243 Laois-Offaly has accepted the referendum – Yes 53.66% No 46.34%. Turnout was 32%.
1243 Wicklow has passed the referendum – Yes 59.99% No 40.01%. Turnout was 40%.
1241 Clare has voted in favour of the referendum - Yes 61.71% No 38.29%. Turnout was 32%.
1235 Carlow-Kilkenny has passed the referendum – Yes 59.18% No 40.82%. Turnout was 34%.
1232 Waterford has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 55.95% No 44.05%. Turnout was 35%.
1232 Longford-Westmeath has approved the referendum – Yes 54.88% No 45.12%. Turnout was 31%.
1232 Social care worker and lecturer John Byrne, who campaigned for a No vote, has said he was not surprised by the outcome of the referendum because it was always a one-horse race.
He said the Supreme Court ruled last week that the campaign was biased and he believes that the people have been misled.
Mr Byrne said it is interesting to note that some of the strongest No votes were from working class areas of Dublin.
He said the middle classes are deciding on an amendment that is going to have the most profound effect on working class families in Irish society.
1230 Speaking in Limerick, where the referendum was passed in the city by 61% and 59% in the county, Housing Minister Jan O'Sullivan said it was a "very positive result for children".
However, the Labour Deputy has warned against viewing the the low turnout as a judgement on Saturday voting.
Minister O'Sullivan admitted the 30% turnout was disappointing, but said this is often the case in single-issue referenda and in many cases it was people’s first time voting on a Saturday.
She said people would have had patterns in the past of voting after work or school, and this was "a totally new pattern for people".
1227 Cork South Central has passed the referendum – Yes 59.52% No 40.48%. Turnout was 36%.
1223 Kerry South has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 57.06% No 42.94%. Turnout was 29%.
1220 Minister for Social Protection Joan Burton has said having the vote on a Saturday seemed to have been a factor in the low turnout.
She said a lot of families had told her it had interfered with their child commitments.
Asked about the higher than expected No vote, she said that some people had been concerned that the amendment would lead to an imbalance of power between families and social workers.
1216 The referendum has been passed in Tipperary North – Yes 55.75% No 44.25%. Turnout was 37%.
1216 Cork North Central has narrowly passed the referendum – Yes 50.09% No 49.91%. Turnout was 33%.
1214 Kildare North has voted overwhelmingly to pass the referendum – Yes 66.27% No 33.73%. This is the biggest win for the Yes side, thus far. Turnout was 35%.
1209 Donegal North East has voted against the referendum – No 59.66% Yes 40.34%. Turnout was 24%.
1206 Limerick has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 59.01% No 40.99%. Turnout was 30%.
1205 Sinn Féin's Spokesperson for Children Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has welcomed what looks like a Yes majority.
However, Deputy Ó Caoláin said it looked like the result was going to be much closer than first thought, with indications that some constituencies are going to be a No majority.
He put that down to the fact that all the political parties were on the one side which meant less opportunity for debate, particularly in the broadcast media at local level due to the 50/50 ruling. He said some stations did not debate the issue because they found it hard to get somebody on the No side.
Deputy Ó Caoláin said there is also a “very understandable” degree of distrust among the public for this Government and past governments.
1203 A senior returning officer in Cork North West, Cork South West and Cork East has indicated that the referendum will be carried - but only marginally.
Results are expected to be tighter than first predicted.
1202 The referendum has been passed in Limerick City – Yes 60.99% No 39.01%. Turnout was 32%.
1155 A tally of postal votes in Wicklow, which were cast prior to the Supreme Court ruling on the Government’s referendum campaign, shows a considerably larger majority for the Yes side compared to votes cast throughout the county yesterday.
Of the 243 postal votes, 84.4% were in favour of the amendment, while just 15.6% were against it.
1152 Galway East has voted in favour of the referendum – Yes 59.02% No 40.98%. Turnout was 30%.
1145 Cork North Central has returned a strong No vote indicating that the referendum may not be carried in this constituency.
The difference between the No side and the Yes side is now marginal.
Local Sinn Féin TD Jonathan O'Brien said his constituency is known for its tendency to reject European-related referendums, but the low turnout yesterday out points to apathy among voters.
"The Government botched this campaign from the start and Thursday's Supreme Court ruling has not helped," he said.
1143 Speaking on RTÉ’s This Week programme, John Waters said the achievement of the No campaign is quite spectacular.
He said with no resources, not a single poster around the country, against a massive campaign of vested interests and Government money used illegally and unconstitutionally to bully for a Yes vote, the No side have actually come within 20%.
He said the No campaign had failed and the Government have succeeded in part with an illegal campaign.
1142 Justice Minister Alan Shatter has said today is a "historic day".
Minister Shatter he is optimistic the referendum will be passed. He said it is a day to celebrate the fact that it appears the majority of voters recognised the need to additional protection for children in our Constitution.
He added that it "sets the groundwork constitutionally for a lot of the further reforms" that the Government wants to implement.
On the low voter turnout, Minister Shatter said people have the right to vote, or not vote.
1140 Turnout in Cúil Aodha in West Cork was among the highest in the county, with 40% of the potential electorate registering their vote.
Overall turnout in Cork East, Cork North West and Cork South West is significantly down on the Fiscal Treaty Referendum earlier this year.
1136 Tipperary South has passed the referendum by 54.17% to 45.83%. Turnout was 35%.
1134 Tallies have been completed in eight of the 12 Dublin constituencies, showing a Yes vote ranging from 71% to 51%.
The highest Yes tally was in Dublin South East with 71%, while the 51% was in Dublin North West.
There are there no tallies available in Dublin South West, Dún Laoghaire or Dublin South Central.
The tally pattern has mirrored trends in the Fiscal Treaty Referendum, with a higher Yes vote in more affluent areas.
1130 A full tally has been done in Dublin West, showing the Yes vote leading by 61% to 39%.
1122 In the first official result from a constituency, Donegal South West has rejected the referendum – No 56.47% Yes 43.53%. Turnout was 24%.
1118 Three constituencies have completed tallies so far.
In Tipperary North, there was a 58% Yes vote tallied, compared to 42% No.
In Laois-Offaly, it showed a 56% Yes vote, compared to 44% No.
In Dublin Mid-West, the tally showed 57% voting Yes and 43% voting No.
1110 Speaking RTÉ’s This Week programme, Minister of State Alex White said it was hard to judge at this stage why there was such a low turnout. He said the reasons were multi-factorial.
Commenting on the Supreme Court decision, he said the Government will have to look at its implications, but he said he did not believe the Government should stay out of future campaigns.
He said there is a fault line between imparting information on the one hand and advocating an outcome on the other.
1109 With all 160 ballot boxes now open at the Wicklow count centre, the Yes vote leads and is looking like a clear winner (63.5%-36.5% based on a tally of roughly 50% of the ballot boxes).
The constituency turnout (42%) is relatively high compared to the national average, and local Returning Officer Patricia Casey is expecting a result to be known there by 1pm.
1108 Minister of State Frances Fitzgerald, speaking on RTÉ’s This Week, said if the tallies are correct, this is an historic day for the protection of children in Ireland.
She said at the core of the referendum were issues around rights for children, the protection of children, giving a voice to children in the courts and looking after children’s best interests.
These issues, the minister said, was what was critical about this referendum, and this is what the people voted on.
1107 A tally of all boxes in Tipperary North shows a 58% Yes vote, with 42% voting No.
Meanwhile, a tally of 76% of boxes in Dublin West shows a 61% vote in favour of the amendment, while 56% of voters in Dublin North East have also voted Yes according to a tally of 10% of boxes.
With half the boxes tallied in Dublin Central, Yes votes lead 61% to 39%, while a similar tally in Wicklow is showing a 64-36% lead for the Yes side.
1103 All the boxes are opened in Cavan-Monaghan, but there is no tally there. The only indication is it will be very tight, with a slight bias in favour of the Yes side. One ballot paper in the constituency was spoiled with the words “we want fair play for Seán Quinn”.
The two Donegal constituencies, both which voted No in the Fiscal Treaty last May, it looks like it might be No again.
The No side is ahead in Donegal North East and it also looks like aa No in Donegal South West; with almost half of the boxes tallied it is 56% No and 44% Yes.
It looks like the Yes side will carry the vote in Galway East and Galway West, probably by a two to one majority.
In the Taoiseach’s constituency of Mayo, which had one of the highest Yes votes in the Fiscal Treaty referendum at 67%, it is looking like Yes will be carried by 54% to 46%.
In Roscommon-South Leitrim, all the boxes are open and about half are tallied. It is very close, but it looks like the Yes vote will be carried.
In some of the boxes in Co Roscommon ballot papers were again spoiled with a “Free Seán Quinn” slogan on several ballot papers.
In Sligo-North Leitrim, it looks like the Yes vote will shade it - but again by a narrow margin.
1053 With all the boxes opened in Louth and 7% tallied, the No side is on 53% and Yes is at 47%.
1052 A tally in Tipperary North shows 58% of voters saying Yes, while 42% voted No.
Meath West, meanwhile, is showing a 54% Yes vote after a tally of 40% of boxes there.
1043 It is still too close to call at present in Roscommon-South Leitrim where all boxes have now been opened, however it looks as though the amendment may be carried.
Meanwhile, a tally of 30% of boxes in Longford-Westmeath shows a 59% Yes vote, compared to a 41% No vote.
1030 With all the boxes opened in Dublin North East, the tallies show Yes at 56% and No at 44%. The Yes camp is also ahead in Dublin Central, with 60% in favour and 40% against after half of the boxes were tallied.
1024 54% of voters in Donegal South West have voted No, according to a tally of 20% of boxes there.
Meanwhile, a tally in Carlow-Kilkenny shows a 60% Yes vote and 40% No.
A tally of 21% of boxes in Wexford also shows Yes votes leading, 54% compared to 46%.
1020 A strong Yes vote is evident from boxes in Cork city, with at least 60% indicated to be in in favour.
No campaigner Kathy Sinnott, who is at the count centre at Neptune Stadium has said: "I'm disappointed and worried. The real losers here are the children of Ireland and their parents, who have now lost their right to protect them.
"This leaves vital decisions concerning children in the hands of the State.
"I'm also worried for democracy. The State has lied and cheated and they have gotten away with it. In my opinion, this referendum is contaminated."
1019 With just over 30% of boxes opened in Wicklow, the Yes vote is starting to pull away with a clear majority of 63% to 37%.
It is likely that this gap will only increase as more ballot boxes are opened, with count staff now moving on to boxes from Greystones - a widely acknowledged Fine Gael stronghold.
The tallyman turnout in Wicklow is mirroring the voter turnout, with only a handful of volunteers in attendance to help count ballot papers.
1018 All boxes in Waterford were opened in record time by 9.45am.
There is a very limited tally in operation, which would suggest a Yes vote in the region of 56%. A result is expected by noon.
1015 A tally 20% of boxes in Mayo shows a Yes vote of 54%, with 46% voting No.
1007 Fine Gael TD Catherine Byrne has said she is disappointed that more people did not vote in the referendum.
The Dublin South Central Deputy said she is surprised that the horror stories of child abuse did not prompt more people to vote to protect children.
Labour TD Aodhán Ó Riordáin said the Referendum will be carried. He said some of the boxes in his Dublin North Central constituency are showing a 55% Yes vote. But there was a complacency among Yes voters, he said.
1004 A tally of ten boxes from the urban areas of Dundalk and Drogheda in Louth and Meath East indicates the referendum will not be carried.
The No vote is at 53%, the Yes vote at 47%. That tally includes a large Yes vote from one box in Laytown, Co Meath, where the Yes had 130 votes and the No had 86.
This tally does not include rural boxes. It carries a large health warning, but may turn out to be indicative of the final result.
1001 A number of tallies are coming in from count centres around the country.
Based on 8% of boxes, tallymen in Dublin South East suggest 65% of will vote Yes and 35% No.
A tally in Dublin South Central puts the No vote at 55%, with 45% voting Yes.
In Dublin North East a tally of 5% of boxes shows 55% voting Yes and 45% voting No.
With 30% of boxes tallied in Longford-Westmeath, there is a 59% Yes vote and a 41% No vote.
In Dublin North West, 63% are voting Yes and 36% voting No, based on a tally of 7% of boxes.
A tally of 10% of boxes in Limerick City show a 58% Yes vote and 42% No vote.
0953 In Dublin West, with 42% of the boxes opened, the tally is 59% yes and 41% no.
Tallymen expect this to drift further towards a Yes vote as tallies from the stronger Fine Gael areas are not in yet.
0951 The low turnout and the Supreme Court judgement mean the No vote will be higher than expected, Labour TD for Dublin North East Sean Kenny has said.
He said the court judgement confused people but he said early indications were that the referendum will be passed with a narrow majority.
0946 A tally in Carlow-Kilkenny shows 60% voting Yes and 40% voting No.
In Tipperary North, a tally has suggested that 59% have voted for the amendment, while 41% have voted against.
0940 It looks like a 70% vote to carry the referendum the Dún Laoghaire constituency. Again, that comes with a significant health warning because of the paucity of tallymen.
There were just two tally counters monitoring the constituency as of 9.30am. Most of the tallymen in the Dublin County area are with Senator Jillian van Turnhout, who is at the count.
There are a number of Fine Gael tallymen at the Dublin West count but other areas are shy meaning that not too much can be read into early tallies as they represent individual boxes.
0938 A tally in Mayo – based on 20% of boxes opened - shows 53% voting for the proposed amendment and 47% against.
0934 Tallies based on one box for the Blakestown area of Dublin West show a 74% No vote for the referendum.
Based on one box opened, the votes were 53 votes to carry the referendum and 149 against.
0932 Sorting of votes is under way in Wicklow. With 14 (8.75%) boxes open, tally figures show that in these early stages the Yes vote is in front, with a 54.7% share compared to 45.3% for the No vote.
Boxes opened so far are predominantly from the Arklow electoral area, meaning that there is a slight urban bias.
0931 Early indications are that Donegal North East will vote No.
In three boxes in the Inishowen electoral area there was a clear 'No' majority.
0928 Tallymen are extremely thin on the ground at the Dublin County count centre, so there is a significant health warning on tally results.
However in Dublin North - based on one box opened - tallies suggest 134 Yes votes and 131 No votes, whereas in Knocklyon in Dublin South West - again based on one box - the tally result is 255 Yes and 90 No.
Independent Senator Jillian van Turnhout, formerly with Children's Rights Alliance, said she was encouraged by the first boxes opening that the people of Ireland will say Yes to the referendum.
0927 One box in Blakestown in Dublin West is showing three to one to the No side.
0923 There are no tallies in a number of constituencies, including Sligo-North Leitrim, Carlow-Kilkenny and, Laois-Offaly. RTÉ's Political Correspondent David McCullagh suggest there may be more to be added to that list.
0920 Ballot boxes in Carlow-Kilkenny, Laois-Offaly and Sligo-North Leitrim have been opened.
0908 Boxes in Dublin West are showing a very narrow gap.
0905 Ballot boxes for the six constituencies in Dublin County have been opened and the sorting of votes is under way.