By Darren McCaffrey, Ireland Correspondent in Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
On Ireland’s north west coast, Donegal is a long way from Dublin and it thinks very differently too.
A largely rural county, farming, fishing and tourism sustain the local economy here.
It is a place where the Church stills hold sway.
Donegal voted overwhelmingly to insert the Eighth Amendment in the Irish constitution back in 1983.
Today, it defied the national picture by becoming the only constituency wanting to keep it.
Opinion here is spilt, the local victory of no in the abortion referendum was marginal and that was reflected in the people I met.
For the yes campaigners, there was a sense of relief that they had made such an impact in a socially conservative county but also hidden disappointment that their Donegal stood out against the tide of change.
For those who didn’t want that change, they felt sadness and regret they hadn’t convinced more.
I also sensed an inevitability that they knew this moment was likely.
Religion played its part in this vote, with one in 10 saying it influenced their decisions.
Age clearly did too. Young people overwhelming back yes; the over 65s the only age group to say no change.
That divide was less stark among men and women, as well as among the urban and rural.
This makes Donegal such an outlier, with even its neighbours following the national trend.
The last few months have been a difficult, emotional and at times upsetting campaign across this county and country.
For many a personal campaign, lots had their stories to tell. These stories influence them and others.
A story of incredible social and liberal change, one many in Donegal and elsewhere are uncomfortable with but one which at the moment seems unstoppable.
From – SkyNews