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Early turnout is high as voters rush make a difference

EARLY-morning voters in Dublin turned out in larger than usual numbers at polling stations today.

Members of the public spoke afterwards of their frustration at the lack of a clear "presidential" candidate.

At a polling station in Donnybrook, some voters shrugged their shoulders and said they were voting for 'the best of a bad lot'.

A woman in her 60s told the Herald she was deeply concerned about the proposed amendment to the constitution giving politician's powers to investigate private citizens.

"I am deeply alarmed that citizens could be open to being hauled up about anything. In a perfect world it might be okay, but it's just too much power to give to any group of people," she said.

One early voter spoke of given her first preference to Michael D Higgins purely on the grounds that he was "the least objectionable".

Another early voter was TCD medical student Sarah Lochrin (18), pictured below, who said she voted for Mary Davis because she was "the least unsuitable".

" I am particularly annoyed at Fine Gael for picking such a woeful candidate," she said.

"I just think that Mary Davis would represent us well abroad. My next preference would be for Michael D."

Polling station clerk Kate Crowley (21) said that voting had been busier than normal this morning compared with early turnouts in recent years.

In Bluebell, one of the first voters into Our Lady of the Wayside national school was James Boyce and his dog Pebbles.

"A lot of the candidates still have too much baggage. I voted for Gay Mitchell, Michael D Higgins and Mary Davis," he said."It's too early for McGuinness, and Norris wanted to close his own road."

hnews@herald.ie