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Just 2% of voters undecided on 8th referendum

May 25th, 2018 12:05 AM

By Emma Connolly

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AN online poll conducted by The Southern Star in recent days saw the vast majority of participants in favour of repealing the 8th Amendment.

But while a massive 83.9% of the almost 700 people that responded claim they will vote ‘Yes’ in Friday’s abortion referendum, the online-only poll does not take account of voters who do not use the web, which tends to be a largely older demographic. This may see the result being somewhat skewed and the final result may prove to be a lot closer.

The strong sample of 696 readers who voted revealed that 83.9% ‘Yes’ compared with 12.8% who said they will vote ‘No’.

The poll, which was conducted between last Friday, May 19th and Tuesday, May 22nd, found that just 2.3% of readers were still undecided on how they would vote. This reflected what campaigners were saying on the ground in West Cork this week – that the vast majority of people had now made up their minds on the issue.

Among the local political representatives voting to liberalise the country’s abortion laws are Ireland South MEPs Deirdre Clune (FG); Liadh Ni Riada (SF) and Sean Kelly (FG) and Cork SW FG TD Jim Daly. Returning from Brussels to vote, MEP Clune said: ‘I am voting to ensure that any woman who experiences a crisis pregnancy here in Ireland will receive the necessary medical support from her doctors. I also believe that a “Yes” vote will provide certainty fore our medical profession and allow them to provide appropriate care to women and girls who put their trust in them.’

FF’s Brian Crowley did not make his position known, but is known to be staunchly pro-life. Other strong opponents of the introduction of abortion in Ireland are Deputy Michael Collins (Ind), who said he would be deeply saddened if the ‘Yes’ vote wins, and FF deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony who said it would be a ‘bad thing for future generations.’

Agriculture Minister Michael Creed, in the ‘Yes’ camp, said in recent days that the Constitution had ‘no role to play in terms of medical care for women going through pregnancy, that is best left to women and their caring physician.’

Bishop of Cork and Ross, Dr John Buckley, issued a second pastoral letter on the referendum which was read at masses last weekend, where he said abortion is not compatible with the Catholic faith.

In contrast, a leading doctor in foetal medicine and native of Caheragh, Dr Noirin Russell, said voting ‘yes’ was the compassionate thing to do.

Polling stations throughout West Cork will open from 7am and close at 10pm this Friday, May 25th, with counting for the constituency of Cork South West getting under way at Coláiste Choilm in Ballincollig at 9am on Saturday, where a team of 100 counters will be based.

You can keep up to date with how the count is progressing on The Southern Star’s, southernstar.ie website and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, as our team will be at the count centre, bringing you the latest news and results.

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