Michael D Higgins has been elected for a second term as President of Ireland, with a total of 822,566 votes (55.8%).
The result was officially declared at Dublin Castle this evening.
In his acceptance speech, President Higgins spoke of the great honour that had been bestowed upon him.
He said: “The people have made a choice as to which version of Irishness they want reflected at home and abroad.
“It is the making of hope they wish to share rather than the experience of any exploitation of division or fear.”
He said his version of Ireland is one which draws on traditional genius and contemporary creativity.
“The presidency belongs not only to any one person but to the people of Ireland.
“I will be a president for all the people, for those who voted for me and those who did not.
“I am so proud of this country, I am proud to be a president for all of you and with all of you, and I look forward with joy and hope to all that we will achieve together.”
The turnout of 1,492,338 voters represented 43.9% of the electorate, which was down 12.2% from the 2011 Presidential Election.
Mr Higgins is the first president to be re–elected to serve a second term in office since Éamon de Valera in 1966.
Patrick Hillery and Mary McAleese were re–elected without a contest in 1983 and 2004.
Independent candidate Peter Casey finished second on 342,727 votes.
He polled more than 23% of the vote nationally, some distance ahead of the other four candidates.
Businessman Seán Gallagher secured 94,514 votes (6.4%), Sinn Féin’s Liadh Ní Ríada was third on 93,987 votes (6.3%), followed by Joan Freeman on 87,908 (6%) and Gavin Duffy 32,198 (2.2%).
Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said the Presidential Election was a historic victory and a very strong endorsement for Mr Higgins.
Earlier, the Taoiseach congratulated Mr Higgins in a tweet.
Sunday 28th October 2018
All faiths, Mutuality, Pluralism, Respect, United