Huge ‘Yes’ majority where Save the 8th's John  McGuirk cast vote in Limerick

Jess Casey

Reporter:

Jess Casey

John McGuirk worked with the Save the 8th group, which drew criticism for its use of posters during the Referendum that claimed 1 in 5 pregnancies in England end in abortion

John McGuirk worked with the Save the 8th group, which drew criticism for its use of posters during the Referendum that claimed 1 in 5 pregnancies in England end in abortion

THE LIMERICK electoral area where the controversial spokesperson for the Save the 8th campaign cast his vote in last Friday’s abortion referendum recorded one of the highest Yes majorities in the county. 

John McGuirk acted as communications director for the Save the 8th group, a group which drew criticism for its use of posters during the Referendum that claimed 1 in 5 pregnancies in England end in abortion. 

Mr McGuirk, a Monaghan man now understood to be living in the Annacotty area, was also criticised during the course of the Referendum campaign for his own conduct online.

Last Friday, Mr McGuirk tweeted that there was a “very strong” turnout of older voters in Limerick, according to his polling clerk at Gaelscoil Chaladh An Treo in Castletroy.

He also tweeted that he was back in Limerick to cast his ballot.

“You might say I’m home to vote,” Mr McGuirk tweeted. 

Four boxes from this polling station in Castletroy recorded a 73.5% average Yes majority, tallies taken at the count show. 

Ballot boxes from Gaelscoil Chaladh An Treo, Milford National School and Monaleen National School polling stations, all within a 5km radius of each other, were all among the highest Yes majorities in Limerick, with an average of 71.4% of people voting to remove the eighth amendment of the Constitution. 

Save the 8th was criticised in the run up to the Referendum for its use of disputed figures on its campaign posters. 

Critics argued that abortion does not end 1 in 5 pregnancies in the UK and that a later poster claiming that in the vast majority of abortions are carried out on healthy babies was also a false claim. 

During the campaign it also emerged that the Pro-Life group Save the 8th hired UK consultancy firm Kanto as part of its campaign.

The company was closely linked to the Brexit Vote Leave campaign and had ties with Cambridge Analytica. 

Mr McGuirk did not responded to a request for comment.