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Polls close: Tánaiste confident of Yes/Yes result, Fine Gael defends Varadkar video | BreakingNews.ie

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Additional reporting by Olivia Kelleher and Press Association.

Lacklustre voter turnouts was the overarching story of polling day, as two referendums were put to the Irish people on the family and care.

With the three Coalition parties campaigning for a Yes/Yes vote, Government figures were out in force to cast their votes.

However, Taoiseach Leo Varadkar drew criticism with a video recorded outside a polling station urging voters to opt in favour of both amendments.

The video was recorded around the corner from the entrance to Scoil Treasa Naofa in Dublin 8, which served as a polling station for the day, after the Fine Gael leader cast his vote.

After posting the video to Instagram, queries were raised as to whether the clip breached the Electoral and Referendum Acts.

However, a spokesperson for Fine Gael dismissed the claims in a statement which read: “No breach of the Electoral Act took place. The Taoiseach did not obstruct, interfere or induce any electors in the vicinity of the polling station.”

They are modest proposals which will bring a more inclusive value in terms of family and understanding and acknowledgement of different family types in Ireland

Meanwhile in Cork, Tánaiste Micheál Martin cast his vote at St Anthony’s National School in Ballinlough alongside his wife, Mary.

Arriving at the primary school shortly after 10am, Mr Martin said he was “very pleased” to vote yes to both propositions, adding he is confident a Yes result will be returned in both referendums.

“They are modest proposals which will bring a more inclusive value in terms of family and understanding and acknowledgement of different family types in Ireland, particularly single parents and unmarried couples either with children or without children.

“And also then, the first time that care as a concept in the home will be recognised in the Constitution, and stating clearly that the State shall strive to support that care in the home.

“That is essentially what is before the people, and, in my view, merits a yes vote in terms of the two propositions.”

Mr Martin said he received “a very positive response on the streets” while out canvassing for a Yes/Yes vote earlier this week.

“People were seeking clarity in the referendum campaign in the modern era. With so much going on in the world, it can be difficult to get the space to get the issues articulated,” he said.

“We are in a situation where there is turmoil in the world with the wars in Gaza and in Ukraine and everything that is happening.

“But with that said, people were warm towards having a more inclusive definition of the family in the constitution that reflects modern realities, and also a clause in the Constitution that would reflect modern realities around women’s role in society.

“That the broad role of women in society should be reflected in the constitution,” the Tánaiste added.

While official figures are yet to be confirmed, low turnout rates were reported across the country, with many counties estimating average rates of as low as 10 per cent before lunchtime.

Counting will commence at counting centres around the country, with the results expected to be announced at Dublin Castle on Saturday.

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