Just under 52 percent of votes cast in Friday's referendum were in favor of retaining the Seanad Eireann or Irish Senate, The Irish Times reported. The results were announced Saturday afternoon.
Turnout was under 40 percent with 1.23 million votes cast on the issue.
The Times said voters in Dublin and its suburbs generally rejected abolition. Prime Minister Enda Kenny, the leader of the Fine Gael Party, campaigned on a pledge to do away with the senate and the strongest support for his plan was in his constituency, where 57 percent of the electorate voted yes.
Results had not been released on a second referendum question, creating a new Court of Civil Appeal. Most officials expect the referendum to be approved.
There were reports that voters were confused by poorly drawn-up ballot papers. The papers mentioned the 32nd and 33rd amendments to the Constitution without describing the content of the amendments.
The Seanad Eireann was established in 1922 with the founding of the Free State and reconstituted in 1936. The body has almost no power and its members are selected in a variety of ways and not directly elected.
Many distinguished Irish citizens have belonged to the Seanad, including poet William Butler Yeats. In the Free State, one goal of the Seanad was to give a greater voice to Ireland's Protestant minority.
Beyonce flaunts bikini body, Blue Ivy in vacation pics
Jordana Brewster on Paul Walker: 'He was an enormous presence in my life'