RUFF JUSTICE AS MISTAKEN IDENTITY GIVES SHEEPDOG A VOTE
By Kevin Brady (News From Ireland)
THE first person who presented himself to cast their vote on the Aran Islands this week was a dog, it has emerged.
The border collie named Roger was brought along to the polling station at Scoil Eanna by its owner, who presented a valid polling card in the dog's name.
His owner Seanin Mac Dhonnchadha said that he got the surprise of his life when his 12-year-old sheepdog received the polling card."
"When the polling paper came out, I got two, which was strange as I live on my own. One was for me and the other was for a Roger MacDhonnchadha. That's the dog's name, you see, but I asked the postman if it was a joke, but he said no.
"I don't know how it happened that Roger got his own card, but he did. Everyone knows Roger so maybe for the laugh, someone said that Seanin and Roger live there," he said.
"The women at the polling station were laughing when I showed up with the dog and with the card.
"I suppose if I pushed it I could have got him the vote, but they were having none of it," he said.
Mr O Dhonnchadha said that he voted Yes himself but that he could not be sure which way the dog would vote if given the chance.
"He can be a cantankerous auld divil some mornings so on a day like that, he could be going for the No side," he said.
A spokesman for the Department of the Environment said yesterday that he did not know how this could have happened, but that there was never any question of the dog being allowed to vote.
"For a variety of reasons, there is some confusion at polling time over names and addresses and so on. In the past we've had babies who have receiving polling cards, but this is the first time that a dog has been registered.
"However, with the history of legal actions against referenda in the past, it wouldn't be beyond the bounds of possibility that a legal challenge might be made to allow him to vote," he said.
Roger and Seanin were back home last night after their day in the limelight on the island.