Ireland president vote: Your choices

Human rights activist and poet Michael D Higgins, who represents Labour, appears to be the likely victor of Ireland's presidential election.

Mr Higgins has apparently received about 40% of the first preference vote while businessman and television personality Sean Gallagher is in second place with 28%, although full official results are still yet to be announced.

Here voters in the Republic of Ireland tell the BBC via email and social media who they cast their ballot for and why.

John Tierney, Portroe, Co Tipperary

Image caption John Tierney was not that impressed with any of the candidates

I was poised to vote for Sean Gallagher but changed my mind at the last minute when further disclosure emerged about his Fianna Fail past.

To be honest I thought he was the best of a bad lot at first. He seemed articulate and he kept his message simple and I just didn't fancy any of the other candidates.

But after the additional information emerged, I cast my number one vote for Michael D Higgins.

I didn't think any of them were the "right material" for such a prestigious position, and basically it was (for me) a question of choosing the least worst candidate.

I was also so concerned that Martin McGuinness did not benefit from my vote that I voted 1-6 for the other candidates according to my preference, with no vote for him.

Although I accept that Sinn Fein has done a good job in the north of Ireland, I think they will see from this campaign many of the population in the south of the country don't see them as acceptable political leaders.

Sheila Gallagher, Meath

I voted for Sean Gallagher (no relation) as I felt it was good to have an independent character in power and I liked his personality.

I'm happy thought that Mr Higgins is in the lead. I wouldn't have minded either of them - in fact they were the only two I put down on my preference form.

I liked the way Mr Gallagher came over at the beginning of the debates and I liked the way he came out to meet the people.

I met him once and I thought he seemed like an interesting figure.

I can't say what gave him the edge over Mr Higgins though on polling day.

I must say that I'm glad it's all over - we've never had seven candidates before.

I feel like it's been a dirty election and I'm sick of listening to it all.

Niall Concannon, Dublin

I voted for Sean Gallagher who put himself forth as an independent figure.

I felt that he was young and fresh and full of lots of new ideas.

He was just different from all of the others.

Michael D Higgins is old-school and will give the "elder statesman" approach.

I don't want to sound ageist but he is pushing on a bit. However he will certainly be fine in terms of helping us to meet our obligations as a country.

I think Ireland missed an opportunity. It's time for fresh blood.

None of the other potentials stood out to me in any way, shape or form.

I would like to say that I don't think that Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness stood a chance.

I would have been embarrassed to be an Irish person if that had happened.

@cassieodea (via Twitter), Maigh Chromtha, County Cork

I have been keeping a blog about all the different candidates and my reaction to their campaigns.

Image caption @cassieodea voted for Michael D Higgins and Martin McGuinness but ignored Sean Gallagher

I voted for Mr Higgins as my first preference because I feel he represents me and a lot of other people in the same way that Mary Robinson (the first female president of Ireland) did.

My second choice was the independent candidate David Norris because of his history in dealing with human rights but the only thing is he is more of a condiment rather than a main meal.

I did not vote for Sean Gallagher because he just sounded like a second-hand car salesman.

I chose Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness as my third choice, which is a big change for me as initially he was going to be my sixth preference and Dana Rosemary Scallon my seventh.

But he changed my mind when, during the campaign, he said: "Looking down from the north, we don't see the border", a phrase that changed the way I view the border when looking north.

I thought that said a lot about the man.

I am delighted with the result but this has been a very controversial election.