Northern Ireland news


Marie O'Donnell casts her vote at Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal Polling Station, Lifford, Co. Donegal

Voters who feared they would miss catching a ferry home to vote in the Eighth Amendment referendum made their sailing yesterday.

People took to social media to plead with Stena Line to hold the 1.10pm Fishguard to Rosslare ferry because of problems with rail services in England and Wales.

Stena Line promised to hold the service for as long as it could in order for passengers to catch the sailing back to the Republic to vote in Friday's referendum.

Great Western Railway organised a coach transfer to get the Irish people to the terminal in time from Swansea.

"There were delays in rail connections and coaches were laid on as a substitute. The coaches arrived on time and everybody is there now," a spokesman for Stena Line said.

"The sailing was 1.10pm and we expected the ferry to leave five or 10 minutes behind schedule, which we expect to be made up during the journey.

"I think there was more concern about missing the sailing and not being able to get across.

"The coaches did their job and got everybody there on time and they are being loaded and then will be away."

Meanwhile, A Dublin-bound passenger jet carrying dozens of voters home for the abortion referendum was hit by another plane preparing for take-off at Stansted Airport.

An airport spokesman said both planes were required to return to the stand after the "minor airfield incident" at around 9.15am on Friday.

"No injuries have been reported and no evacuation was required from either aircraft," he said.

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