The people of Ireland have gone to the polls to vote in a referendum which decides whether to approve or reject the European Union's controversial fiscal treaty.
The pollng stations opened at 7:00 a.m. local time (0600 GMT) and are scheduled to close at 10:00 p.m. The results will determine whether Ireland will get in line with the rest of the eurozone members with regard to the treaty.
The European fiscal treaty, which was signed by 25 EU member countries, excluding Britain and the Czech Republic, in March, commits all ratifying members to reduce their budget deficits to less than half a percent of their economic output.
Ireland is the only EU member that has put the treaty to vote, as any decision on the country’s sovereign rights requires a referendum.
Supporters have stressed that the rejection of the treaty will block Ireland from tapping into EU's emergency loan fund.
The opponents, however, argue that the approval of the pact will cause tighter deficit rules and could result in more years of austerity, tax increases and unemployment in the country.
Vote count will start on Friday and the results are expected to be known at Friday noon.
The latest opinion polls in the country have showed that most Irish people will vote for the approval of the treaty.