Nostalgia: Cork going to the polls down through the years

Nostalgia: Cork going to the polls down through the years
A cork shawlie voting in the Municipal and County Council elections in Cork  in 1934.

The polls are now open in the European and Local elections but the excitement of the count centres is only getting underway. 

A delighted Simon Coveney after winning the Cork South Central by-election in 1998 pictured with his brother Patrick and Jim O'Keeffe, director of elections at Neptune Stadium. Picture Denis Minihane.
A delighted Simon Coveney after winning the Cork South Central by-election in 1998 pictured with his brother Patrick and Jim O'Keeffe, director of elections at Neptune Stadium. Picture Denis Minihane.

Thousands will turn out in Cork today to vote between 7am and 10pm, following in the footsteps of preceding generations. 

Ireland is currently in the middle of the centenary of the tumultuous events that eventually led to independence and we have retained a keen interest in who are political leaders are. 

A young political party activist pictured at Emmet Place in the run-up to the Cork municipal elections in 1935.
A young political party activist pictured at Emmet Place in the run-up to the Cork municipal elections in 1935.

The shawlies were known for their sharp business sense but, as our picture from 1935 shows, they also took the time to cast their vote and pass judgement on those in office. 

For as long as there have been elections there has been canvassing and, judging by the picture from a year earlier in 1934, the activism kicked in before people were even old enough to vote. 

Checking ballot boxes in the 1948 election.
Checking ballot boxes in the 1948 election.

A good politician is always working and county councillor and current county mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy proved that in 2009, campaigning from his hospital bed. 

Once the polls close, the attention moves to the count and there will be as much interest in the various count centres over the weekend as there was in 1948. 

Counting will get underway today, after the opening of the boxes and the sorting of the ballots at Nemo Rangers.

Ruth Brosnan with her father Tim Brosnan at City Hall in the June 2004 local elections.Pic: Larry Cummins.
Ruth Brosnan with her father Tim Brosnan at City Hall in the June 2004 local elections.Pic: Larry Cummins.

The local election ballots will then be moved to City Hall in the afternoon, with first results expected on Sunday evening. Meanwhile, votes cast in the referendum and European elections will be counted at Nemo Rangers.

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