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 Kathy D’Arcy, Chairperson, Cork Together for YES, voting at Sunday’s Well NS this morning with Deputy Chairperson Luke Field. . Pictures: Larry Cummins
Kathy D’Arcy, Chairperson, Cork Together for YES, voting at Sunday’s Well NS this morning with Deputy Chairperson Luke Field. . Pictures: Larry Cummins
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Yes or No - you decide as thousands come home to vote

Corkonians have returned home in droves for today’s referendum to cast their vote on an historic occasion for Ireland.

Some were still completing journeys this morning for a vote that will see the people of Ireland decide whether to repeal or retain the Eighth amendment.

“It’s such a historic occasion and one that I feel very passionate about, so I knew I had to get home for it,” said Michael Kelleher, son of Cork senator Colette.

Mr Kelleher, studying for a masters in France, used his birthday money to book flights home to Cork to ensure he could vote today.

“It’s hugely important that people have made the journey home,” he said.

“I knew when the referendum was called last year that I would come home for it, so when I had the money in March, I said I’d get the tickets to make sure.” Mr Kelleher revealed he also returned home from the UK three years ago to vote in the marriage referendum.

“That was a much more complicated journey because all the flights home were sold out,” he said.

“I had to take a train, a bus and a boat over a 20 hour journey to make sure I got home,” he added.

Referendum 2018.Abigail Daly, NO Campaigner Anna Daly, and Joy Cantwell voting at Holy Cross NS, Mahon, Cork on Friday 25th May 2018.Pic; Larry Cummins
Referendum 2018.
Abigail Daly, NO Campaigner Anna Daly, and Joy Cantwell voting at Holy Cross NS, Mahon, Cork on Friday 25th May 2018.
Pic; Larry Cummins
Fellow Corkonian Lauren Foley arrived home last night from Brussels, along with 15 of her friends, all set to vote today.

“I know people coming home from all over the world, it’s so important that people are returning home,” said the St Luke’s native.

“There were a lot of Irish people who travelled home on flights before us as well.

“I really wanted to return home and have my say, I didn’t want to look back having not voted,” she added.

Ms Foley has been working in Brussels since January.

“I knew from the second I left Ireland that I’d be coming back to vote,” she said.

“When the referendum date was confirmed, I booked my tickets home straight away,” she added.

Kathy D’Arcy, chair of the Cork Together for Yes Campaign, said:

“The #Hometovote movement has exploded in the last few days.

“These are in many cases people hoping to return to Ireland to build their lives and raise their families, and they want to do that in a country where pregnant people are minded and protected.

“I’m so grateful to these people who have put their lives on hold and gotten on planes so that other, more vulnerable women will not have to,” she added.

With more than 3m people eligible to go to the ballot box today, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has also appealed to citizens to move away from a “legacy of shame that exists in our society” where women are forced to travel abroad for an abortion or take pills bought online without medical supervision.