Thousands of Irish citizens who live around the world have chronicled their journeys back there this week to vote on Friday in a divisive referendum on legalizing abortion.
Using the hashtag #HomeToVote on Twitter and Instagram, Irish people living abroad have shared stories about their journeys and explained why it was important to them to vote. Some traveled relatively short distances, like from London and Edinburgh, while others returned from as far away as Istanbul, Los Angeles and São Paulo, Brazil.
The issue of whether to repeal the country’s Eighth Amendment, which would overturn Ireland’s near-total ban on abortion, remains heavily divisive. Opinion polls had suggested the “Yes” camp had a lead, but the gap has narrowed in recent polling.
Despite the differences of opinion, #HomeToVote has become a trending topic on Twitter and fostered camaraderie, both online and in person, among Irish people who moved away and are returning.