Just over 52 per cent of those eligible to vote turned out to do so, and delivered a 52.7 per cent ‘Yes’ to 47.3 per cent ‘No’ outcome. Only 253 votes were spoiled, a low of 0.5 per cent
The tally, with combined volunteers from Sinn Fein, Labour and Fine Gael, and a handful ‘unaligned’, saw an ebb and flow as the first 100 or so of the 192 Louth Boxes were opened. The first 30 boxes had ‘Yes’ ahead with 52%, the next 30 brought the ‘No’ ahead with 51%, and after 90 boxes it was 50/50. The ‘Yes’ then gradually pulled away and when the last box was tallied the ‘Yes’ had won the day, with 52.3% ‘Yes’ on the tally, remarkably close to the official result declared 3 hours later, of 52.7% for the ‘Yes’ side.
The highest ‘Yes’ vote was seen at the Blackrock box no. 7, with 77.4% for the ‘Yes’ side, whereas the highest ‘No’ vote was 79.7 per cent at the St John School in Rathmullen in Drogheda. Overall 117 boxes favoured the ‘Yes’ outcome with 75 opting for a ‘No’. If any clear conclusion could be drawn, then it is that rural areas and more affluent areas tended to have higher turnout, and tended to vote ‘Yes’ in greater measure.
North Louth: This area, stretching from Omeath down to the Dundalk town boundary, saw the ‘Yes’ prevail, with 54.1% ‘Yes’ on a turnout of 48%. The Rural Area to the West and South of Dundalk delivered a strong ’Yes’, with 61.2% support for the Treaty, on a turnout of 52.7%. The seven Blackrock boxes delivered a 72.1% ‘Yes’, just two of the 14 boxes overall in this area, Sheelagh and Heynestown No. 1 box, having a ‘No’ majority.
In the Town of Dundalk the ‘No’ vote won out with 53.9% of the valid votes cast. The strongest area for the ‘No’ was in the ‘East’ ward where the ‘No’ reached 59%, with near 67% ‘No’ in Muirhevnamore, but with Bay Estate opting for ‘Yes’ with 52% in the 4 boxes there. The Dundalk Central Ward was closer to ‘even steven’ where the boxes at St. Gerard’s Hall had a vote that was marginally ‘Yes’. The Dundalk West Ward was some 52% in favour of the ‘No’, with strong rejection in four out of the six Redeemer boxes. All of the boxes at the Day Voc. School, the Friary, St. Olivers Hospital and Town Hall had a majority for the ‘Yes’ side.
Ardee and Mid Louth: In the Town of Ardee the ‘No’ had the majority, with 54.7% in favour, but the Rural boxes around Ardee balanced that out with 55.6% for ‘Yes’.