Galway, Mayo and Donegal islanders will vote in the general election today, a day ahead of mainland voters.

It had been expected that the European and local elections held in May last year would be the last time islanders would vote ahead of the rest of the country.

However legislation to allow islanders vote on the same day as other voters - despite having  gone through second stage in the Dáil - had not been passed by the time the general election was called.

This morning, ballot boxes will be brought by ferry and helicopter to 12 offshore islands with a total electorate of over 2,100 people.

Almost 200 people are registered to vote across three Mayo islands- Inisbiggle, Inisturk and Clare island, according to the Returning Officer for the constituency of Mayo Fintan Murphy.

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