Polling in the Children's Referendum has finished, with reports from around the country suggesting turnout of around 30%.

Counting of votes will begin at 9am tomorrow.

When questioned earlier about the low turnout, Taoiseach Enda Kenny said: "It's a democracy, we can't force people to vote."

Most areas seem to have seen between a quarter and a third of those eligible to vote actually cast their ballot.

Saturday voting has only been tried once before in a referendum. 

The first time it was tried was the second vote on the Nice Treaty a decade ago.

Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore said last week that future weekend polls hinged on the turnout figure today.

On weekday votes, there is usually a surge in turnout as people return home from work in the evening.

The lowest turnout to date was the 28.5% recorded in a referendum in July 1979.

A result from today's vote is expected some time tomorrow afternoon.

Some voters in south Dublin cast their votes using mobile phone lights and emergency lighting.

The ESB said power cut has been restored again to parts of south Dublin that experienced the outage.