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Irish People Have There Say

 

Updated : Jun 6, 2009

Irish people across the country have been having their say and turning out to vote in huge numbers.

It has emerged turnout in the local and European elections could be as high as the general election two years ago.

Officials across the country reported brisk early voting with highs of 25% in Dundrum and 34% in Westport by mid-afternoon.

The 2007 general election had a turnout of 67.3% – the highest for any election for 15 years.

Co Mayo registrar Fintan Murphy said area inspectors had visited a sample of the 247 polling stations were surprised at voter levels.

“The main urban areas of Ballina, Castlebar and Westport were recording 27-34% by 4.30pm,” he said.

“We would consider that high – probably as high as the last general election at the same stage,” he added.

Polling stations in the by-election areas of Dublin Central and Dublin South had above-average turnout levels due to increased voter engagement.

More than three registered voters are electing two TDs in Dublin Central and Dublin South, 12 MEPs and 1,627 councillors.

Returning officers opened boxes at 9am on today and begin sorting the votes.

Counting of the local election and by-election votes will begin immediately, while the European Parliament counting starts at 9am on Sunday.

A total of 44 candidates, including 11 outgoing MEPs, are competing for 12 European Parliament seats across the country.

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