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They said - the general election count quotes of the weekend

Lots of politicians had lots to say today as you might imagine, and not all of it was nice.

IT WAS A long weekend of politics, for some a horrible weekend, for others it was two days of triumph.

All the way through people had their say on the election count, here’s the cream of the quote-crop:

13/1/2016. Cabinet Meetings Pat Rabbitte. Sam Boal / Sam Boal / /

“The real shift has been to independents and anti-bloody-well-everything parties” – Pat Rabbitte

The retiring Labour TD was far from retiring in his summation of a bad, bad day for his party.

“My primary concern is the interests of this country… and I don’t think it’s in the interest of this country to have Sinn Féin in opposition” – Willie O’Dea

The newly re-elected Fianna Fáil TD for Limerick had some harsh words for Gerry Adams’ troops about the prospect of Sinn Féin being the largest party in opposition with Fianna Fáil in government.

27/2/2016. General Election 2016 - Counting of Vot Eamonn Farrell / Eamonn Farrell / /

“I think it made them arrogant, they were literally unassailable, they could literally do what they wished and they literally did” – Mary Lou McDonald

Sinn Féin’s deputy leader thinks the huge mandate that the outgoing government had from 2011 was to be their downfall. / YouTube

“It’s been a bittersweet victory” – Alan Kelly

The Minister for the Environment was in subdued form after finally reclaiming his seat in Tipperary. He certainly wasn’t subdued when the result was announced though.

“I think we have seen a political earthquake” – Paul Murphy

The outgoing Anti-Austerity-Alliance TD thinks the election result is a significant one.

“If you can’t take out Joan Burton and Labour at their lowest ebb, there’s not much hope” – David McGuinness

The independent candidate for Dublin West said that he thought a lot of Fine Gael voters decided in the last two weeks that they wanted Joan Burton to remain in the Dáil.

4/2/2014. Panel Disscussion Forums Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland Sam Boal / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

“These two parties are not divided by ideology, they are divided by tradition and loyalties” – Michael McDowell

The former attorney general and TD thinks there is no reason why Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil cannot form a government.

“It’s a benchmark, it’s the first of many electoral contests I hope” – Lucinda Creighton

The Renua leader had a traumatic election, with Renua failing to return a single TD.

regina Regina Doherty

“I think we collectively need to look at what we did wrong. We all need to learn by it” – Regina Doherty

The Fine Gael TD for Meath got back in, but she’s under no illusions that something went badly wrong with her party’s campaign.

healy raes cianan cianan

“Some of the smart alecs in Dublin who may have picked on me in the past. Well, you know what? They’ll have to pick through him to get to me” – Michael Healy Rae

The independent Kerry TD was in bullish form after he and his brother looked likely to take almost 40% of the popular vote in the county.


“We saw what is happening in Spain. I saw an article today that said Spain’s lot is to be our lot. I really hope that isn’t the case” – James Reilly

The Fine Gael deputy leader finally lost his seat in Dublin Fingal on Sunday afternoon. He seemed tired and resigned when interviewed afterwards. And he doesn’t think that Ireland, like Spain, will have a new government any time soon.

24/5/2014. Counting Begins Mary Hanafin Laura Hutton / Laura Hutton / /

“There’s a big difference between losing and not winning” – Mary Hanafin

The former Fianna Fáil deputy leader was looking on the bright side after losing out in Dublin Bay South to People Before Profit’s Richard Boyd Barrett.

“I didn’t get enough votes” – Joanna Tuffy

Labour’s Tuffy, who has lost her seat, gave this succinct answer to Miriam O’Callaghan when asked what had gone wrong.

“Tipperary has had a love for me for over 28 years” – Michael Lowry

The oft-controversial independent TD has topped the poll in Tipperary once again.

shatter cianan cianan

“It was an unfortunate intervention” – Alan Shatter

The former Minister for Justice who has lost his seat is a little less than impressed at “someone at Fine Gael HQ” instructing voters to split the vote between him and Josepha Madigan.

mcbrearty Frank McBrearty Facebook Facebook

“Next b***ard that comes to my door will know all about it.” – Frank McBrearty Jr

The Donegal councillor didn’t poll too well in the election, and took to Facebook to complain bitterly about his treatment by the media.


“Democracy is always exciting but it is merciless when it kicks in” – Enda Kenny

The Taoiseach has suffered a sobering election, and admitted himself that Fine Gael is now effectively where it was in 2007.

“Even now I don’t think Labour get it. They were elected to protect the less well-off, something they failed catastrophically to do, and now they’ve paid the price” – Richard Boyd Barrett

The re-elected People Before Profit TD speaking to Joanna Tuffy on RTÉ Radio.

27/2/2016. General Election 2016 - Counting of Vot Leon Farrell / Leon Farrell / /

“The Taoiseach has done a remarkable job for this country” – Richard Bruton

The outgoing Dublin Bay North Fine Gael TD, who famously tried to remove Enda Kenny as leader in 2010, had nothing but praise for Kenny this evening.

Irish general electionEnda and wife Fionnuala in Castlebar this eveningSource: Niall Carson

"The over-riding imperative is that Ireland has a government, if it takes a little while or a few weeks to do that then so be it" - Enda Kenny

The Taoiseach specifically name-checked 1987's Tallaght Strategy (where Fine Gael supported a minority Fianna Fáil on certain issues in order to form a government) in reverse when questioned about future coalition possibilities.

Read: Re-elected Enda Kenny: “Democracy is always exciting – but merciless”

Read: Former Justice Minister Alan Shatter loses Dáil seat

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