Belfast Telegraph

Six seats filled in European elections in Ireland

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly took the first seat in the Ireland South constituency.

Counting of votes in the Dublin Constituency of the European elections continues (PA)
Counting of votes in the Dublin Constituency of the European elections continues (PA)

Six seats in the European elections in Ireland have been filled.

Fine Gael MEP Sean Kelly took the first seat in the Ireland South constituency, joining Mairead McGuinness, Frances Fitzgerald, Clare Daly, Barry Andrews and Ciaran Cuffe.

The former GAA president was elected on the ninth count with 119,883 votes, after surpassing the quota of 119,866.

It is now a battle between Fianna Fail’s Billy Kelleher and Independents4Change candidate Mick Wallace to claim the second seat.

Sinn Fein’s Lynn Boylan was eliminated from the Dublin constituency and her votes were redistributed following a dispute over the transfer of votes.

Independents4Change TD Ms Daly took the third seat, while Fianna Fail’s Mr Andrews will take Dublin’s fourth seat, one of two extras Ireland has been allocated in the wake of Brexit.

Mr Andrews will not be travelling to Brussels to begin work as an MEP until the UK leaves the EU.

Speaking afterwards, Ms Daly said:  “I hope to bring the same fighting ability that I demonstrate in the Dail (Irish Parliament).

“I really wanted the mandate of the Dublin electorate to be respected, so I was quite prepared if Lynn Boylan’s votes had put me out; I would have lived with that.”

Earlier on Tuesday, a recount was ordered following a request from the Fianna Fail candidate.

Green Party candidate Mr Cuffe and Fine Gael’s Ms Fitzgerald have both secured their seats in this constituency.

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The Green Party’s Ciaran Cuffe celebrates with family and party members as he takes the first seat in the Dublin consistency in the European elections (Cate McCurry/PA)

In the Midlands North West constituency, Fine Gael’s Ms McGuinness topped the poll and was elected on Monday.

Independent Luke “Ming” Flanagan also looks likely to return to the European Parliament with Ms McGuinness, however no one was elected in the constituency after a long day of waiting in Castlebar on Tuesday.

Sinn Fein’s Matt Carthy, Fine Gael’s Maria Walsh, a former Rose of Tralee and former presidential candidate Peter Casey, who is standing as an independent, are also vying for the three seats that remain unfilled.

The Taoiseach has hailed Fine Gael’s performance at the European elections as the “biggest and best” for 35 years.

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Mairead McGuinness of Fine Gael topped the poll in the Midlands North West constituency (Niall Carson/PA)

Leo Varadkar insisted his party was still in the hunt for five seats.

“The European elections are shaping up to be very good for Fine Gael, we have about 30% of the vote which is our biggest and best result since 1984,” he said.

“Contrast that with Fianna Fail who are having one of their lowest vote shares ever.”

On Tuesday evening, counting looked likely to finish in the local elections with the last remaining of Ireland’s 949 council seats to be filled.

Fianna Fail has retained its position as the largest party at local government level, with Fine Gael not making the gains it had hoped for.

The Green Party enjoyed a surge in support, while Sinn Fein suffered a bruising poll, losing many councillors.

Friday’s election day also saw voters deliver a resounding Yes vote to liberalise Ireland’s divorce laws, with the length of time separated couples must wait to obtain a formal divorce now set to be halved.

There were also plebiscites in Cork, Waterford and Limerick on government proposals for directly elected mayors with executive functions.

Voters in Cork and Waterford rejected the idea, but Limerick voted in favour.

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Alliance Party leader Naomi Long (Liam McBurney/PA)

In the European election in Northern Ireland, the cross-community Alliance Party registered another electoral upset when leader Naomi Long took the second seat.

Incumbent MEPs Diane Dodds, of the DUP, and Sinn Fein’s Martina Anderson secured the other two seats in Monday’s count.

PA

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