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By-election results: Here is a list of your four new TDs

Fianna Fáil have claimed two seats and it’s one each for Sinn Féin and the Greens.

SINN FÉIN’S MARK Ward pulled off a surprise win this afternoon to claim the first by-election victory of the day in Dublin Mid-West. 

He’ll be joined in the Dáil by Pádraig O’Sullivan after the Fianna Fáil candidate claimed victory in Cork North-Central this evening. 

Malcolm Byrne claimed a second seat for FF in Wexford this evening meanwhile, pushing Fine Gael’s Verona Murphy, the highest-profile candidate of the campaign, into third place. 

And shortly before 9pm Joe O’Brien claimed victory in Dublin Fingal for the Green Party’s first ever by-election win. 

Mark Ward – Dublin Mid-West 

Sinn Féin councillor Ward put in a strong showing in working class areas of north Clondalkin, and it was clear he was in a strong position to take a seat once the first ballot boxes opened. 

It had been thought the seat would go to either Fine Gael candidate Emer Higgins or to former Green TD Paul Gogarty, who is now an independent councillor based in Lucan. 

Arriving at the count centre party leader Mary Lou McDonald said the result was a welcome boost. 

Sinn Féin suffered a poor performance in May’s local and European elections and speaking today she said she had “learned a million lessons since the summer”. 

She said the result today demonstrated “in a way that was not predicted” by the media that Sinn Féin is an “alternative, progressive party”. 

“We are the party that represents working people and families and today is a good day for us but we’re not complacent.” 

Pádraig O’Sullivan – Cork North-Central 

Glanmire resident O’Sullivan, a serving councillor, had been ahead since the first count and was declared the winner shortly before 7pm at the count centre at Nemo Rangers.

Speaking to 96FM at the count centre earlier, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin said the  likely result was a welcome one for the party and that the grassroots effort in the area had been a major factor.

“Padraig wouldn’t have been as well known in the city side of the constituency starting out here but by the time it was over they knew who he was and that’s down to the strength of the campaign on the ground.” 

He described it as part of the recovery and “journey of renewal” of Fianna Fáil in recent years, after the party’s vote collapsed in 2011 in the wake of the economic crash. 

While it appears a solid victory, Martin can’t be too surprised at the win – Cork North-Central is basically ‘Jack Lynch territory’.

To lose a seat held by Billy Kelleher for the party since 1997 would have been a major shock. 

Malcolm Byrne – Wexford 

Malcolm Byrne, another serving councillor, claimed the second seat for FF this evening as Fine Gael’s Verona Murphy was pushed into third place. 

The Gorey-based candidate’s success in the poll comes in the wake of a strong showing in the European elections back in May, when he polled nearly 70,000 votes. He also topped the poll in his council area in the local elections on the same day. 

Fianna Fáil already has one TD in the area in the form of mental health spokesman James Browne. 

Speaking after the final result was announced Fine Gael’s Murphy indicated she expected to run in the general election next spring, telling the count centre crowd that she would continue to take up the issues raised by locals and that it should keep her busy “until May”. 

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar appeared lukewarm on the prospects of her representing the party in the general election, when asked earlier. 

Varadkar also criticised a Rocky-themed social media video produced by ‘supporters of’ Murphy and shared on the candidate’s own Facebook page.

Varadkar said today: “I only saw it last night. I have to say I thought it was kind of bizarre, but it wasn’t approved by the party I’m not sure it was approved by the candidate.”

Joe O’Brien – Dublin Fingal 

Green Party candidate Joe O’Brien was deemed elected on the eighth count tonight with 12,315 votes pushing another high-profile candidate, FF’s Lorraine Clifford Lee, into second. 

Eamon Ryan, the Greens leader, will likely take heart from this result as it indicates that the party’s surge in the May locals and Euros was not just a flash-in-the-pan. 

O’Brien’s day job is as a project manager with the Immigrant Council of Ireland. He lives in the north county coastal town of Skerries.  

Speaking after his win tonight he said he would be supporting the no confidence motion in Fine Gael housing minister Eoghan Murphy in the Dáil next week. 

In spite of the opposition gains this week, however, the government is expected to survive that vote as a result of the FG-FF confidence and supply arrangement. 

Despite the slight change in Dáil arithmetic, it’s still likely we won’t see a general election until well into next spring. 

You can look back at all the day’s action in our liveblog here, and you’ll find all the results from each constituency here in our count centre

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