CORK South West returned a massive Yes vote, reflecting the national trend, in the referendum on the 8th Amendment, with Sherkin Island having one of the highest Yes votes in the country, at 85%.
The constituency voted 64.5% in favour of repeal, and 35.5% against repeal, which was generally in line with the national figure of 66/34.
A total of 26,147 people in West Cork voted Yes, with 14,387 voting No.
The results showed that voters in Cork South West did not follow the advice of two out of three of their local TDs – with FF’s Margaret Murphy O’Mahony and Independent Michael Collins both advocating a No vote, and just one TD – junior Health Minister Jim Daly (FG) – calling for a Yes vote.
In Cork North West, the results were similar: 27,194 voted Yes, and 18,054 voted No, representing a 60/40 breakdown.
Counting began at the centre at Coláiste Choilm in Ballincollig at 9am on Saturday morning, and within minutes of the boxes being opened, the trend was obvious.
Within an hour, the tally men and (mostly) tally women were predicting the 2-1 victory for the Yes campaign, in both Cork South West and Cork North West.
Among the first boxes to be opened from Cork South West were boxes from Ballineen, Belgooly and Bandon – all showing a strong 2-1 vote in favour of Yes.
A box from the Temperance Hall polling station in Kinsale showed a massive swing for Yes – with 216 Yes votes, with just 65 voting ‘No’ – a 77% vote in favour of Yes.
Meanwhile, a box from Goleen NS showed an even bigger swing in favour of the Yes vote, with 154 votes in favour of repeal, and just 48 against – representing a massive 81% Yes vote.
This will be of particular interest to local Goleen TD Michael Collins, who was very strongly advocating a No vote.
Similarly, in Bandon, where No voter Fianna Fáil deputy Margaret Murphy O’Mahony is based, there was a strong Yes vote, albeit less equivocal, of about 2-1, with the highest vote in the town being 65% in favour of Yes, at box No 3 in the Town Hall.
But the highest Yes vote in West Cork was on Sherkin Island which had an 85% vote in favour of repeal, with 33 voting Yes and just 6 voting No.
Overall, just seven boxes returned a majority No vote – Scoil Naomh Eltin Kinsale 2 (53%); Caha Centre Adrigole 1 (54%); Caheragh Central School Drimoleague (53%); Model School Dunmanway 2 (57%); Derryclogh NS (52%); Barryroe Central School (50% – 89 Yes votes and 90 No votes); and Lisavaird Community Centre 1 (54%).
With a turnout of approximately 67% in Cork South West, this represented a 5% increase on the Marriage Equality referendum turnout.
In Cork North West, which includes areas close to the city, there was a strong urban/rural divide in terms of the strength of the Yes vote.
The highest Yes was in the Ovens area (75%) and the highest No vote was in Rahalisk, near Macroom, at 54% voting No.
While the overall national result was a surprise to many observers, and had certainly not been predicted until exit polling stations, there had been some inkling of the landslide in last week’s Southern Star online poll.
A massive 83% of online voters had indicated they were voting Yes, with just 12.8% indicating a No vote. The Star report pointed out that taking the younger online demographic, coupled with poor access to broadband in many areas of West Cork, the real vote was likely to be closer, though still a majority Yes one.
Cork North West TD, Aindrias Moynihan, who opposed repealing the 8th amendment a ttended the court at Coláiste Choilm last Saturday and told The Southern Star that it was a very clear and decisive result.
‘The people have spoken on it and made their views were clear about it and it’s consistent across the country so there are no anomalies on that,’ said Deputy Moynihan.
‘For my own part I always made my own position quite clear that I didn’t support the government’s view on it. The public have spoken on it and as the government will be bringing forward legislation it should be pushed through and I couldn’t see myself in any way obstructing that.’