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Clare vote vastly different to previous referendums

WHILE researching a preview of how Clare would vote last week, it became obvious that even the closest observers of local politics weren’t sure where the county’s votes would go. Friday night’s exit polls showed that the country had voted heavily in favour of yes. Then when tallies from rural parts of Clare all showed strong support for repealing the Eighth Amendment, it became apparent on Saturday morning that Clare had also voted yes, and by a sizeable majority. As it turned out, Clare was very close to the national average in more ways than one. This county’s percentage turnout was 64.37%, while the national turnout was 64.13%. Clare voted yes by 64.28% to 35.72%. Ireland did so by 66.4% to 33.6%, showing this county was an accurate barometer for the country overall. Taking a long-term perspective one can see that Clare has become far more liberal on social issues. In the 1986 and 1995 referendums, large majorities of Clare …

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Increase in Clare electoral register

WHILE the final figures will not be available until the earliest next week, Clare County Council has reported an increase of approximately 1,500 people in the electoral register, as the May 25 referendum on the Eighth Amendment approaches. The deadline to register was Tuesday. The full, but as of yet approximate, register currently stands at 81,377 for the county.

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Lisdoonvarna to vote on arrival of asylum seekers

THE people of Lisdoonvarna are set to vote on whether they will accept asylum seekers in the North Clare town from March 5. A Direct Provision centre is to open on the first Monday in March with approximately 30 asylum seekers due on that date. A maximum of 115 can be housed in the King Thomond Hotel in the town. The hotel is owned by Marcus White who spoke at a public meeting last Friday, which was attended by approximately 100 local people. A further meeting has been called for Wednesday night in the Pavilion in the town at which Fáilte Lisdoonvarna, a local community group, has said a vote will take place. The idea of holding a vote had initially been mooted at last Friday’s meeting. “In order to vote, you must be on the register of electors for the parish,” Lisdoonvarna Fáilte said on their Facebook page. “Or bring an official document, bill or a bank statement with …

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Graduates reminded to claim Seanad vote

SENATOR Alice-Mary Higgins encourages all NUI graduates, including Shannon College of Hotel Management and Burren College of Art, to claim their vote in Seanad Éireann elections, before the registration deadline. All NUI graduates who are Irish citizens are entitled to vote in Seanad Éireann elections. However, they must first claim their vote by downloading the voter registration form from NUI or phoning to request a form. Completed forms must be scanned and returned by next Monday, February 26. NUI graduates who are living overseas are entitled to claim their vote and can vote in future Seanad elections from abroad through a postal vote. Independent Senator Alice-Mary Higgins, who was elected to the NUI panel in Seanad Éireann in 2016, said, “On the centenary of Irish women winning the right to vote, I will continue to work for equality and democracy. I am committed to pressing for Seanad reform so that all Irish citizens will be entitled to vote in future …

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100 years on from vote for women

Fine Gael is celebrating the 100th anniversary of women getting the vote in Ireland with a year-long programme to highlight the contribution women have made to Irish public life. On the eve of Nollaig na mBan (January 6), An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar launched the Fine Gael programme saying, “This year marks the centenary of Irish women getting the vote and the right to stand in elections. Fine Gael will be celebrating this historical landmark with a programme of events at national and local level. I hope to see both party members and the wider public embrace the opportunity to get involved. “The centenary of women’s suffrage provides an opportunity to reflect on how women’s rights have improved in Ireland over the last 100 years, and look at what still needs to be done. Fine Gael will draft a Women’s Charter in 2018 which will set out a path for the further advancement of women’s rights in Ireland and will be …

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Make sure you’re registered to vote

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is encouraging young people in County Clare to make sure they are registered to vote before the deadline for inclusion on the electoral register on Friday, November 25. “We are especially anxious to ensure that the 1,658 young people who have turned 18 in the last 12 months in 1658 are included in the electoral register and will be in a position to exercise their democratic right to vote should any elections or referendums take place in the coming year,” stated James Doorley, NYCI deputy director. Any young person who is 18 years of age on or before February 15, 2017 next is eligible for inclusion in this updated voters list. “The draft voters list was published on November 1 and is available at local council offices, post offices, Garda stations and is available online at checktheregister.ie. The reality is that the vast majority of young people who turned 18 in the nine …

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Last chance to register to vote

Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Alan Kelly has today (Tuesday) asked people to take a last opportunity to check that they are included in the register of electors for the general election. “Even at this late stage there is an opportunity to be included in the register and to have your say about the future direction of our country,” the Minister said. Application forms for inclusion in the supplement to the register are available from your city, county or city and county council and on-line at www.checktheregister.ie. Completed forms must be received by the registration authority for the area in which you reside no later than this evening. To be registered, you must be an Irish or a British citizen, aged 18 years or over on polling day and ordinarily resident at the address at which you want to register. There is still time to register, or to have your details corrected if you are already registered. …

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10,000 students to register for vote

The Union of Students in Ireland will register an estimated 10,000 new third level students to vote across 24 Irish campuses tomorrow (Tuesday). USI’s campaign, Education Is aims to educate, empower and register students to vote in the upcoming General Election, focusing on which parties will increase student support such as grants, student assistance funds and accommodation. Education Is follows the success of the student voter registration campaign before the marriage equality referendum, which registered 27,633 new voters. The National Day of Voter Registration’s official hashtag is #RockTheRegister. “One sixth of people living below the poverty line are students,” USI president, Kevin Donoghue said. “The new students we are registering to vote will be voting for politicians who have their educational interests in mind. The cost of living for students is €11,000 per year, which means college courses can cost between €33,000 and €77,000. Government investment in third level education dropped from over €1.6bn in 2005 to €939m in 2014. …

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