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  1. ITV Report

Ireland’s abortion referendum result due on Saturday

Thousands cast their vote in the abortion referendum in the Republic of Ireland. Credit: PA

Vote counting in the historic Irish abortion referendum will begin on Saturday morning, with the result expected later in the day.

Polls opened across the country at 7am on Friday, with voters opting to either retain or repeal the Eighth Amendment of the constitution - which prohibits terminations unless a mother's life is in danger.

Around 2,000 voters in 12 islands off the mainland were eligible to vote on Thursday to prevent any delay in counting their ballot papers.

Garda Alan Gallagher and Presiding Officer Carmel McBride carry a polling box used by the few people that live off the coast of Donegal on the island of Inishbofin. Credit: PA

The Eighth Amendment is a clause in the constitution which was written after a previous referendum on the issue in 1983 recognised the right to life of the unborn child.

It protects the equal right to life of the mother and the unborn and effectively prohibits abortion in most cases.

In 1992, women were officially given the right to travel abroad, mostly to the UK, to obtain terminations.