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The scene at Ballinruan community Centre as voters cast their votes in the General Election 2020. Photograph by John Kelly.

General Election Voter Turnout Appears Above Average

TURNOUT across Clare appears to be above average as many voters descended on their polling stations early this morning, as Ireland went to the ballot on a Saturday for the first time since 1918.

Clare will decide which four candidates will represent them in the 33rd Dáil, and it appears The Banner County’s youth has come out in force to have their say.

Boston will be a hotly-contested territory in this year’s race to become the Democratic Nominee for the upcoming US Presidential election, but Boston National School was also a hotbed of activity as Presiding Officer Teresa Cullinan says that nearly 40% of the electorate had cast their vote by 3pm, which is well above average.

Cooraclare was also 50% before 5pm this evening.

In Crusheen, over 25% of voters had greeted the polling station by 1:30, while in Ballinruan – which was only reinstated as a polling station shortly before the election – a third of voters had cast their ballots by 2pm.

Corofin reported 40% turnout before 4pm.

Teacher and musician, Pádraic O’Reilly, was casting his vote in Corofin and cited Brexit as the main issue that needs to be tackled by the incoming government. Many presiding officers and poll clerks reported an uptick in younger voters and Pádraic, a teacher in Galway, says there is much more political awareness among youth these days.

“As a teacher, I’m seeing way more engagement among our youth, with politics. They are way more aware of what is going on. They also have very strong opinions and are very idealistic.”

Tourism and re-strengthening Shannon Airport, Pádraic believes, are very important to the electorate in Clare and key issues that will decide the four-seat constituency.

Turnout around the county appeared to be higher than average in the first half of the day, but bad weather forecast for the evening, coupled with the first Saturday poll in a century, are likely to be responsible.

First boxes will be opened at 9am in the Falls Hotel and counting will continue throughout the day. You can follow all the action via The Clare Champion’s live-stream on www.clarechampion.ie from 11am, as well as our live blog from 9am.

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