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Ireland abortion referendum: Thousands of Irish citizens go #HomeToVote

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By Emma Beswick
Ireland abortion referendum: Thousands of Irish citizens go #HomeToVote

Ireland was Friday set to vote in a controversial referendum on whether to relax its constitutional ban on abortion.

The referendum addressed the question whether or not to scrap the Eighth Amendment to Ireland's constitution, which recognises the equal right to life for the mother and her unborn child.

Both "yes" and "no" campaigners canvassed in the streets for weeks trying to convince voters.

Many Irish citizens living overseas travelled back to their homeland to cast their votes, with some making journeys spanning thousands of kilometres.

The internet was awash with offers of carshares and offers of places to stay overnight for those voyaging to cast their ballot.

No-one under the age of 54 has voted on this issue before, as the Eighth Amendment came into force after a 1983 referendum.

The #HomeToVote hashtag was used over 82,000 times in the last day alone, with a movement echoing that of 2015 that saw same-sex marriage legalised.

Here's our selection of social media posts:

San Francisco, US

New York, US


Bangkok, Thailand

Hanoi, Vietnam

London, UK

Brussels, Belgium

Eindhoven, Netherlands


Sao Paulo, Brazil

Newcastle, Australia

An Irish welcome

Voters who returned to Ireland were welcomed with greeted by cheering crowds holding “welcome home” banners.

One Twitter user described the scene at Dublin's Terminal 1 as "emotional and inspiring".