Exit polls suggest people have voted to remove the crime of blasphemy

Groups have welcomed a projected 'Yes' vote in the blasphemy referendum.

Exit polls suggest people have voted by a decisive majority to remove the crime of blasphemy from the Constitution.

They suggest it will pass by some 68%.

Colm O'Gorman is Amnesty International Ireland's executive director: "While we await the final figures from the national wide count, it is clear at this stage that the Yes side have carried the day.

"Today's vote is another important step towards a human rights compliant Constitution.

"It follows the massive support for the constitutional referenda allowing marriage equality and ending the abortion ban.

"People in Ireland have shown yet again that they value human rights and freedoms".

The Humanist Association of Ireland has also welcomed the projected Yes vote, but says more needs to be done.

CEO Noeleen Hartigan said: "Today's referendum results represent another significant milestone for Ireland in becoming a modern, secular and more compassionate society.

"However, there are still several significant hurdles to be overcome before the non-religious can fully participate in Irish society without discrimination.

"On Monday morning thousands of children from non-religious families will attend Roman Catholic schools because their parents, as taxpayers, have no other option.

"While the lifting of the baptismal barrier is welcome, real reform in terms of delivering non-denominational education, as opposed to simply not excluding children based on faith, needs to follow."

It also cited Christian prayers in the Dáil and a declaration to God during the Presidential inauguration as issues which need to be addressed.