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Irish election: Who are the shock winners?

Many new faces will be entering the Dail.

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Verona Murphy (Brian Lawless/PA)

Verona Murphy (Brian Lawless/PA)

Verona Murphy (Brian Lawless/PA)

The results of Ireland’s General Election have thrown up a number of surprises with many new faces entering the Dail.

– Verona Murphy

The former president of the Irish Road Haulage Association was a household name before February’s election due to a controversy from a November by-election.

Standing as a Fine Gael candidate, Ms Murphy made comments to the Irish Times that so-called Islamic State was “a big part of the migrant population” in Ireland and services were needed to “alleviate that type of indoctrination”.

Ms Murphy also told RTE’s This Week programme that some asylum seekers have to be “deprogrammed” as they “carry angst” and may have been “infiltrated by Isis”.

Despite mass outrage, Fine Gael backed its candidate and even had the Minister for Justice campaign with her.

When Ms Murphy failed to gain the seat, the Taoiseach made a U-turn, saying he had decided to drop Ms Murphy as an election candidate as her apology for her comments about migrants “wasn’t sincere”, and that he was glad she had not been elected.

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She stood as an independent in this election, and was elected in Wexford.

IRISH Election
(PA Graphics)

– Patricia Ryan

The Sinn Fein candidate hit the headlines after she took a holiday during the campaign, as a Christmas present from her children.

The gift could not be changed, and although she said she worked every day during the break away, eyebrows were raised about how it would affect her campaign.

She topped the poll on Tuesday for Kildare South on the sixth count with 10,155 votes.

– Cathal Berry

Also in Kildare South, independent candidate Cathal Berry claimed the third seat.

The former Army Ranger and qualified doctor raised more than 30,000 euro on a crowdfunding website.

Recently retired from the Defence Forces, Dr Berry has spoken publicly about pay and conditions in the sector.

– Holly Cairns

Holly Cairns, a candidate for the Social Democrats in Cork South West, shocked many when she scooped the third and final seat in Fine Gael founder Michael Collins’ constituency, after a impressive showing in transfers.

Her boyfriend, Christopher O’Sullivan of Fianna Fail, took the second seat in the same constituency.

– Gino Kenny

The incumbent Soldarity-People Before Profit TD for Dublin Mid-West had conceded his seat on Sunday afternoon, telling social media followers: “Not looking good in getting re-elected,” before finding out he had been elected on Monday afternoon.

Mr Kenny passed Fianna Fail candidate John Curran to take the fourth seat, and broke down in tears when he was announced.


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