Islanders kick-start voting in Local, European ElectionsThursday 22 May 2014 23.36
People living on islands off the coasts of Donegal, Mayo and Galway voted in the Local and European Elections today.
A total of 2,131 people were registered to vote on 12 islands.
In Donegal, where there are five islands, 753 people were entitled to vote.
The largest electorate is on Arranmore, with 514 on the voting register, while six people are registered on Inishfree.
The Air Corps brought ballot boxes by helicopter to Inishbofin and Tory Island and boats took them out to the other three islands.
Normally Donegal islanders vote two or three days ahead of the mainland to ensure bad weather does not hinder the return of ballot boxes on time for the count.
However, it has been decided to trial all islands voting on the same day just one day ahead of the country in these elections.
On the four Galway islands, 1,180 people were entitled to vote, with over half of that number registered on Inis Mór.
Three islands off the coast of Mayo also went to the polls today.
198 voters were registered on Inishbiggle, Inishturk and Clare Island.
Voting times varied from island to island.
Polling stations were open until 10pm on each of the Galway islands, but voting finished earlier on all other islands.
Tory islanders had until 3pm to cast their votes while on Arranmore the two polling stations remained open until 7.30pm.
Voting also occurred in Northern Ireland and Britain to elect members to the European Parliament and local councils.
In the North, the three sitting MEPs from Sinn Féin, the DUP and the Ulster Unionists are expected to be re-elected - although the second Unionist seat could be in danger due to the increased number of pro-Union candidates in the field.
Voting in the European elections got under way this morning when polls opened in the Netherlands.
Voters are choosing a total of 751 MEPs in the 28-nation polls spread over four days.
Infographic on the Local Election candidates