BREAKING: Tipperary says YES with 59 percent vote in favour of repeal

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BREAKING: Tipperary says YES with 59 percent vote in favour of repeal

History was made in Tipperary on Saturday after the county voted with a resounding YES in the abortion referendum following a count that lasted almost six hours.

Votes in favour of repeal stood at 42,731 while the No side stood at 29,516. The number of invalid votes was 238. 

The count centre was dominated by members of Tipperary Together for Yes, some of whom burst into tears as the results were announced by Returning Officer James Seymour which saw Tipperary vote 59.1 percent in favour of repealing the Eighth Amendment. 

"The people of Tipperary have spoken, it's a great day for the county, for Tipperary," Deputy Alan Kelly said at the Thurles count centre as a decisive 'YES' vote echoed in the background of the Presentation Thurles PE hall.

"I felt it would be a yes last week while canvassing. We had an overwhelming Yes in Nenagh and I'd like to thank Emma Burns from the Tipperary Together for Yes campaign for her fantastic work, along with Mary Newman and my own party. It's a civic moment and it was incredible to see the amount of young people who registered to vote and were out on the campaign trail."

Throughout the morning the Yes campaign lead the way in Tipperary, in line with the rest of the country, with each round of tallies putting the repeal side significantly ahead. Early morning tallies put the YES side at around 60 percent, dropping slightly mid afternoon to 58 percent at the lowest. 

In total turnout in the county stood at 64 percent with Roscrea and Nenagh reflecting a high YES vote however tallies from the Thurles area were pretty evenly divided. Boxes from booths in Ardmayle and Killcommon were reportedly some of the few locations to vote ‘NO.’

Tallies showed that Newcastle in south Tipperary also returned a YES vote, although narrow, with both booths polling just over 50 percent in favour of repeal. 

Tipperary Fine Gael general election candidate candidate Garret Ahearn says a Yes win in the abortion referendum on the Eighth Amendment is an "incredible victory".

Speaking at the Tipperary count centre at Presentation Secondary School in Thurles, Ahearn also praised former Taoiseach Enda Kenny for setting up a Citizens Assembly to look into the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

Meanwhile Sinn Fein councillor Martin Browne has welcomed the vote, stating that "Ireland is at last coming out of the dark ages.

"It's a momentous day in the country's history. It would be hard to go back 20 years and say 'this day would happen'. A big factor is that both old and young have voted for the yes side, whereas a rule of thumb was always that the older generation would stay with the status quo. All of Irish society has given women a choice and we are no longer exporting the problem. There was no denying that abortion was taking place and women can now have them under safe circumstances," he adds.

 Cllr Browne says the fact that both the younger and older generations voted yes is a clear sign that society want to have their say in the issues that affect them most. "We got a good response on the doors. One of the biggest things - like the same-sex marriage equality referendum - is that people actually travelled home to vote. The younger generation that were forced into exile came home to have their say and political parties have to wake up to the fact that people just aren't accepting it anymore and they want to have their say heard. That kind of vote has swung it for the yes side.

Results in the referendum on the repeal of the Eighth Amendment show that 13 constituencies have returned a decisive Yes vote.