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Five MEPs elected in Ireland South as mammoth count concludes

On the 20th count, Grace O’Sullivan, Green Party; and Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael joined Seán Kelly, Fine Gael; Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fáil; and Mick Wallace, Independents 4 Change.

Image: PA Wire/PA Images

Updated Jun 5th 2019, 4:14 PM

ALMOST A FORTNIGHT since the polls opened, Ireland South voters now know who will represent them in Europe over the next five years.

On the 20th count, Grace O’Sullivan, Green Party; and Deirdre Clune, Fine Gael joined Seán Kelly, Fine Gael; Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fáil; and Mick Wallace, Independents 4 Change.

The process in Ireland South was coming to a close last week, when Sinn Féin’s Liadh Ní Riada asked for a full recount, after she was deemed the next to be eliminated. There were just 327 votes between Ní Riada and the next lowest candidate, O’Sullivan.

The full recount commenced yesterday – but by last night Ní Riada conceded after the margin between her and O’Sullivan slightly grew, staving off the need for the planned full recount to continue in the constituency. 

Earlier today, Mick Wallace, Independents 4 Change, was elected to an MEP seat, joining Seán Kelly, Fine Gael and Billy Kelleher, Fianna Fáil.

His surplus was then distributed to see who got the fourth seat.

The Wexford TD was elected today after Ní Riada’s 91,839 votes were distributed. As the quota is 119,866 in Ireland South, the remaining votes were shared out to decide who would get the fourth and fifth MEP seats in the region.

European Parliament election Independents 4 Change MEP Mick Wallace talks to count staff. Source: PA Wire/PA Images

This is important because the fifth MEP seat in Ireland South cannot be taken up until the UK actually leaves the EU (as is the case with the 4th seat in Dublin, which was won by Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrews).

At the moment, the Brexit deadline is set for 31 October, but with the Conservative Party in upheaval, it’s possible that this could be delayed further if the UK refuses to leave without a deal with the EU.

A full term for a member of the European Parliament is five years.

The conclusion of the count in Ireland South means that all 11 of Ireland’s MEPs have been elected, plus two ‘cold-storage’ Brexit MEPs – here’s the full list.

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