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Dublin: 11 °C Friday 15 February, 2019
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In quotes: Fianna Fáil's disastrous day at the polls

How Fianna Fáil candidates have been reacting to the party’s poor performance at the polls, with one describing it as a “rebuff”.

Sealed ballot boxes awaiting the count at the RDS this morning.
Sealed ballot boxes awaiting the count at the RDS this morning.
Image: Julien Behal/PA Wire

IT’S PROVING A BRUISING DAY at the polls for Fianna Fáil, which is likely to drop a significant number of seats all over the country.

In an exit poll released by RTÉ this morning, Fianna Fáil generated just 8 per cent support in the Dublin constituencies and 15 per cent nationally.

But what have Fianna Fáil candidates been saying about their party’s performance?

“Fifteen per cent is not a wipeout. It’s a severe setback, a rebuff,” said Martin Mansergh.

Mary Hanafin, likely to lose her seat in the Dún Laoghaire battle, told RTÉ Radio One:

The upset was the hardest to take and we spent a lot of time listening to people who are genuinely hurt…

At no stage did I get any personal abuse, I have to say. People would say to me, ‘look Mary, you’ve done great work for the schools and with the clubs’ – and that was all very encouraging – ‘ but can’t bring ourselves to vote Fianna Fáil’.

Tom McEllistrim got just 11.2 per cent of the first preference votes in North Kerry, but told Radio Kerry that he’s considering seeking a Seanad seat.

Conor Lenihan complained of an “avalanche” of negative sentiment against Fianna Fáil but election defeat should not be taken personally: “It is not a reflection on any individual,” he said, as he conceded his Dublin South West seat.

Looking ahead

“There’s no shame in losing. The shame would be if we didn’t learn from it,” said Pat Carey.

Conceding his seat, Seán Haughey echoed Carey’s sentiments:

I think core FF voters are disappointed with the way things turned out over the last four years, but it is time for renewal and a reinvigoration of the party and I’m sure that will happen in due course.

Haughey also said while his grandfather Seán Lemass would have recommended no emotion or sentimentality today, his father Charlie Haughey would have pushed him to “fight, fight and fight back”.

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