A doctor, author and father of a son with Down's syndrome has hit out at Ireland's anti-abortion lobby for using children with the condition during campaigning for Friday's referendum. "I believe God is the giver of life", the 78-year-old said, adding that he credits God with helping him overcome alcohol addiction.
While the DUP have signalled their opposition to the idea, with the party's Ian Paisley saying the country "should not be bullied into accepting abortion in demand", other politicians and activists have voiced their support for relaxing the country's stance on abortion. "We will oppose that legislation". They called it a once-in-a-generation opportunity to liberalize some of Europe's strictest abortion rules.
Sorry, this content isn't available on your device.
There were reports of strong turnout in many parts of the country, particularly in urban areas.
If you are an Irish citizen living overseas you can not be added to the Register of Electors.The only exception to this is the case of Irish officials on duty overseas (and their spouses) who may register on the Postal Voters List.
"I believe that as people reflect on the current situation in Ireland, where women are forced overseas to have a termination, where women are purchasing abortion pills illegally online and where women in extremely hard situations are left isolated and neglected, that the Irish people will vote to repeal the eighth amendment".
Communications director John McGuirk said the unborn child no longer had a right to life recognised by the Irish state.
If Ireland votes "yes", the government intends to allow terminations within the first 12 weeks, subject to medical advice and a cooling-off period, and between 12 and 24 weeks in a restricted fashion.
Campaigning was not allowed Friday, but Dublin was still filled with signs and banners urging citizens to vote "yes" or "no".
Around two hours later Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, a vocal advocate for repeal, voted in the city.
"I want to reassure you that Ireland today is the same country as it was last week", he said, "but just a little bit more tolerant, more open and more respectful".More news: Ronaldo hints he will quit Real Madrid after Champions League final win
More news: Boba Fett Film Coming From James Mangold
More news: Gas prices could hit $3 nationwide Memorial Day weekend
Chris Coyle tweeted that his daughter was making a transatlantic journey and taking time off work without pay in oder to cast her yes vote.
"I think about her every day".
The referendum result showed that many Irish voters agreed that women in those circumstances should be allowed a choice.
"Those on the margins of society suffer most from abortion".
The leader of the Catholic Church in Ireland told Sky News the vote was not about religion but about human rights and equality. Since 1980, more than 170,000 women have traveled by ferry or airplane to Scotland, England or Wales to get an abortion there.
Campaigners against change have used emotive language to highlight the threat to the foetus and warned against "extreme" proposals from the Government which could be expanded in future years. The two most recent surveys on Sunday showed the "Yes" side pulling slightly further ahead.
"It felt like the Ireland that I knew, but I haven't really seen".
Voting was already under way a day early on 12 remote islands in the Atlantic Ocean, to ensure the ballot boxes can be brought to count centres on the mainland in case of poor weather.
While repealing the Eighth amendment of the constitution enshrining the equal right to life of mother and baby would not immediately introduce abortion, it would pave the way for the Government to do just that.
The vote will remove a 1983 amendment that required Irish authorities to defend the lives of a woman and a fetus equally on nearly all abortions.
Still, many who voted in favor of same-sex marriage and laws easing rules around abortion - such as allowing women to travel overseas to get it - found the latest measure a step too far.