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Dublin: 12 °C Monday 14 October, 2019
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YOU VOTED FOR them yesterday, and now the ballot boxes are open.

Today is about who gets a seat in your local authority. And for Longford-Westmeath and Dublin West, the count begins to elect a new TD in each of those constituencies.

(Counting the votes that will elect our MEPs will not begin until tomorrow.)

TheJournal.ie is in the count centres and online all the way until the wee hours to keep you company.

The main points so far:

Good morning. Sinéad O’Carroll here, writing from TheJournal.ie HQ. I’ll be bringing you all the election news from our reporters around the country this morning as votes are counted – and dreams realised and dashed.

The count process got underway at 9am in count centres around the county but before any actual ballot papers can be counted, the local and European ballots have to be separated.

Maybe separate boxes may have been an idea? No?

In saying that, exit polls are giving us some indications of who is doing well – and will be expecting the nod later today.

According to RTÉ’s exit poll, Independents are showing well, predicted to win the highest percentage of votes in both elections yesterday.

  • 28% in the locals
  • 27% in the Europeans

Our Political Editor Hugh O’Connell is in Citywest, where the count for the Dublin West by-election is underway.

The boxes are open in the Dublin West by-election count and so far Ruth Coppinger, the Socialist candidate, is polling well in the Hartstown area. This is to be expected but Sinn Féin’s Paul Donnelly is also doing well, polling not far behind Coppinger.

The final turnout yesterday is being put at about 50%.

Did you vote? Let us know why/why not in the comments section.

In fact, we’d love to hear your thoughts on anything about yesterday’s election and today’s count. You can tweet us at @thejournal_ie or @sineadocarroll, email me at sinead@thejournal.ie or leave a comment below.

Included in that 50% was 104-year-old Dorothea Findlater from Blackrock. The Dublin woman told photographer Laura Hutton that she gave her vote to Fine Gael – as she has been doing since the 1920s.

Europan and local polling day. 104 yea Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Today has already been dubbed Independents’ Day because of their now-presumed success in yesterday’s polling.

Christine Bohan has put together a roundup of the exit polls to give us a clearer picture of who is up and who is down.

In the locals:

  • Independents: 28 per cent
  • Fine Gael: 24 per cent
  • Sinn Féin: 16 per cent
  • Labour: 7 per cent

In the Europeans:

  • Independents: 27 per cent
  • Fine Gael: 22 per cent
  • Sinn Féin: 17 per cent
  • Labour: 6 per cent
  • Green Party: 6 per cent

We’ve had our first commentary on the exit polls from Labour with Brendan Howlin who said people were ready to give the government a ‘good smacking’ in the polls.

He said was hurt that many good Labour candidates and councillors will not make the cut.

The Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform also said that he was against austerity.

Fianna Fáil candidate Kate Feeney and unofficial Fianna Fáil candidate and former minister Mary Hanafin very close, according to early tallies. The Battle of Blackrock is one of the most intriguing local election contests in the capital.

PastedImage-41590 Feeney voting yesterday and Hanafin campaigning. Source: (Images: Photocall Ireland)

This isn’t a bad day for the Labour party, it’s a disastrous day for the Labour party.

That’s commentator Noel Whelan on RTÉ Radio 1. He predicts an internal War of the Roses for the party. Yikes.

Sinn Féin’s Lynn Boylan is way out in front in Dublin the European Elections, according to the RTÉ Exit Poll.

It believes she has a whopping 24 per cent of the vote.

Here’s the latest from Hugh O’Connell in Citywest on the Dublin-West by-election.

The Socialist Party’s Ruth Coppinger is the early frontrunner there, while high-profile independent David Hall is trailing on 14 per cent.

“The poll does not look good for Labour,” he adds.

For more from Hugh, follow him on Twitter @oconnellhugh - he’s good for an enjoyable Vine.

Lots of people in the comments section are asking about exit polls.

RTÉ’s exit poll was taken yesterday at a variety of polling stations. About 3,000 people took part the Behaviour and Attitudes survey.

The margin of error is less than 2 per cent so it is seen as an accurate way of predicting results.

However, there have been occasions that they have been wrong. Five years ago, Mary Lou McDonald looked set to take the third MEP seat in Dublin but it ended up going to Joe Higgins.

Proceed with caution.

electric fence

As we watch what’s going on in #LE14, there is a huge cohort of Irish people who are thinking about something else entirely today.

About 250,000 people will see One Direction play three gigs in Croke Park this weekend – and members of An Garda Síochána are getting into the spirit.

(We know this doesnt’ really belong in here, so think of them as a fun interlude).

Some interesting observations by Professor Gary Murphy of DCU. He believes party loyalty is collapsing and fragmenting across the board.

Has that landed us at Independents’ Day?

We asked earlier if people voted – and why/why not.

In the comments section, tm says:

Very hard to know who to vote for yesterday….loads of reasons not to vote for candidates and very few good reasons to vote for anyone..! But did vote..! Wouldn’t be surprised if FF do well when all the transfers are divided up…!

image

According to reports, Kenny 'Kenneth' Egan is "not doing well" in the local elections in Clondalkin.

If you’re listening in to RTÉ Radio One, you may be looking for some ‘election rides’ right now.

DailyEdge.ie have what you need. Sample:

Gavin Nugent (Independent – Gorey)

PastedImage-97262

Let’s have a look at the Longford-Westmeath by-election.

According to very early tallies, Fine Gael’s Gabrielle McFadden – sister of the late Nicky McFadden – looks likely to take the by-election seat.

Here’s Michelle Hennessy’s preview of that vote, which will get you up-to-speed with all things Midlands.

PastedImage-50348

Clondalkin wasn’t ready for Kenneth Egan but it looks set to elect a very young Sinn Féin candidate – 19-year-old Jonathan Graham. Here he is (on the left) with Young Fine Gael chairman Dale McDermott.

PastedImage-33032 Source: Hugh O'Connell

It’s all go in Citywest.

http://vine.co/v/Mw1jPXhFueX

More from the ever-busy Hugh O’Connell:

Leo Varadkar has arrived out here in Citywest but has declined all requests to talk to the media so far, he’s adopting a wait-and-see approach, it would seem.

He may have learned from his Cabinet colleague Brendan Howlin’s early RTÉ interview.

By the end of the local election count (which could be sometime in the early hours of tomorrow morning), Ireland will have elected 949 councillors.

They will work on 31 new city and county councils.

As the number of overall councillors is falling from 1,627 all parties are set to lose out on numbers elected. So to get a broader picture of party politics, we’ll be keeping an eye on percentages throughout the day.

Five years ago, Fine Gael led the vote share with Fianna Fáil coming in second and Independents third. That looks set to change dramatically in 2014.

More from the ever-busy Hugh O’Connell:

Leo Varadkar has arrived out here in Citywest but has declined all requests to talk to the media so far, he’s adopting a wait-and-see approach, it would seem.

He may have learned from his Cabinet colleague Brendan Howlin’s early RTÉ interview.

It’s not looking good for Enda in Mayo.

If Sinn Féin do well today, it’ll be down to the party’s ability to ‘getting the vote out’.

Hugh O’Connell explains:

In areas that have traditionally suffered from low turn out, voters have come out this time and it looks like many of them have gone for Sinn Féin.

To take one example in Dublin, the party has really got out the vote in Clondalkin where it’s on course to exceed the quota and take two seats.

Read more of Hugh’s analysis:

‘If John the Baptist was leading Labour, he wouldn’t have brought a different result today.’

Guess which Labour Minister said that?

Clue:

Broadcasting Authority to Publish Strate Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Some more from local media in Longford-Westmeath, where a by-election will see a new Dáil TD elected:

Phil Hogan – the Director of Elections for Fine Gael and the Minister for the Environment – concedes that Fine Gael will drop local council seats. And that the party will see fewer first preferences.

He is currently talking to Ivan and Chris on Newstalk Breakfast.

Hogan agrees that it’s been a difficult day for Labour as nobody likes to lose seats. He says they have had to make hard decisions on the country’s economy – but that hopefully there will be money to give back to taxpayers if the financial predications become reality.

“People are looking for a dividend from the sacrifices they have made,” he adds.

A message from a reader on Labour’s woes:

I followed Eamon Gilmore on Twitter just so there might be something positive for him to take from today.

Political director of Labour, David Leach, says that he is 100% Eamon Gilmore will lead the party into the next General Election in 2016.

He also ruled out any prospect of Labour walking out of the coalition.

Mary Lou-McDonald believes Gerry Adams’s arrest three weeks ago was not as disruptive as some people would have liked to her party’s campaigns.

The Sinn Féin TD spoke to Newstalk earlier.

Can you see Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan in Europe?

It may just happen.

Here’s an interesting one from Dublin. In the Rathmines-Rathgar ward, a first-time Green candidate, Patrick Costello, is leading the tally.

The breakdown from John Nisbet on Twitter, who notes there may be possible corrections to follow.

PastedImage-8698

That first-timer, Patrick Costello, is running on a campaign focused on planning, business and transparency.

On a lighter note, we quite liked his poster headshot. Something in it makes us think of a Broadway actor. In a good way.

PastedImage-43558

Junior minister and Labour party member Joe Costello spoke to TheJournal.ie earlier about Labour’s dismal performance.

He admitted that the electorate were “slapping us on the wrist”. See more from the interview here:

Source: Hugh O'Connell/YouTube

RTÉ’s Exit Poll for the humongous Midlands North West (including some of the east) constituency.

It’s looking good for Ming.

Here are the results: 

  • Luke Ming Flanagan – 20%
  • Mairead McGuinness – 16%
  • Matt Carthy – 13%
  • Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher – 11%
  • Marian Harkin – 11%
  • Thomas Byrne – 10%
  • Jim Higgins – 7%
  • Lorraine Higgins – 4%
  • Rónán Mullen – 4%
  • Mark Deary – 2%
  • TJ Fay – 1%
  • Ben Gilroy – 1%
  • Mark Fitzsimons – 0%
  • Cordelia Níc Fhearraigh – 0%

So, it looks like Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan will take a seat for the Independents in Europe. However, it will be at the expense of sitting MEP Marian Harkin who is lagging behind  a number of candidates, including Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness and Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy.

Some interesting news from the Battle of Blackrock.

With 100% of boxes tallied, it looks like the Battle of Blackrock will have two winners with Mary Hanafin and Kate Feeney both set to take seats for Fianna Fáil.

More luck than voting management, we would think.

Where does that leave Micheál Martin? It seems there were two seats to win in the ward but he had directed the party to just back Kate Feeney and leave Hanafin out in the cold – after serving her with the correct paperwork to run.

With all this talk of ‘wipeouts’ and poor performances, non-party councillor John Gilligan looks for some perspective as his seat looks in doubt.

So, there’ll definitely be squeaky-bum time at some point for the Dublin-West candidates.

squeaky bum

David Hall only announced he would run in the Dublin-West by-election three weeks ago and the general consensus is that he’s run a very strong campaign in such a short space of time.

He is currently trailing the frontrunners with 12.92 per cent (about level with Fine Gael Senator Eamonn Coghlan) and has admitted he faces an “uphill battle”.

However, he has already put his hat in the ring for the next general election.

See what he had to say to TheJournal.ie out in Citywest.

Source: Hugh O'Connell/YouTube

Former TD Paul Gogarty is looking likely to take a seat in Dublin in the Palmerstown and Lucan ward.

He has been out of politics for three years (he was part of the last Government as a member of the Green Party). During that interlude, he pursued a musical career but speaking to Newstalk this afternoon, he told Pat Kenny they were separate paths.

“Music is a hobby, politics is my vocation,” he said.

Here is a taste of his musical abilities:

Source: HisSweetSurprise/YouTube

Wondering what the President of Sinn Féin is up to today?

Here he is:

Last night, he seemed to have something else on his mind.

Our reporter Paul Hosford has made his way to the RDS where he has found some people in slightly-less-jubilant spirits.

Our national broadcaster going to great lengths to ensure we all know what’s happening across the country…

Let’s take a look at the Exit Poll results from the European Elections for Dublin. Sinn Féin will be delighted with the predicted runaway victory for Lynn Boylan.

There are three seats up for grabs in the constituency.

Hear are the results (again, a warning that these are not definitive or without margin of error):

  • Lynn Boylan (Sinn Féin) – 24%
  • Brian Hayes (Fine Gael) – 14%
  • Eamon Ryan (Green Party) – 14%
  • Mary Fitzpatrick (Fianna Fáil) – 12%
  • Nessa Childers (Ind) – 11%
  • Emer Costello (Labour) – 8%
  • Paul Murphy (Socialist) – 7%
  • Bríd Smith (People Before Profit Alliance) – 6%
  • Thomas Darcy (DDI) – 1%
  • Jim Tallon (Ind) – 1%
  • Raymond Patrick Whitehead – 1%

With 35% of the boxes tallied in that Dublin Europe election count, that order of the exit poll is being followed.

Let’s take a moment for those ordinary citizens who, hoping to do some good, are not going to enjoy the next few hours.

We’ve looked at Dublin and Midlands North West but what’s going to happen in the South tomorrow? RTÉ’s exit poll indicates that Fianna Fáil, Sinn Féin and Fine Gael will take seats.

The full results:

  • Brian Crowley (FF) – 26%
  • Liadh Ní Riada (SF) – 17%
  • Seán Kelly (FG) – 12%
  • Deirdre Clune (FG) – 9%
  • Simon Harris (FG) – 7%
  • Kieran Hartley (FF) – 5%
  • Diarmuid O’Flynn (Ind) – 5%
  • Grace O’Sullivan (GP) – 5%

  • Phil Prendergast (Lab) – 5%

  • Richard Cahill (Ind) – 3%

  • Peter O’Loughlin (Ind) – 2%

  • Jillian Godsil (Ind) – 1%

  • Theresa Heaney (Catholic Democrats) – 1%

  • Dónal Ó Ríordáin (Fís Nua) – 1%

  • Jan Van De Ven (DDI) – 1%

TheJournal.ie reporter Órla Ryan is in Castlebar, where there could be a shock result for the Kenny family.

She says:

The Taoiseach’s brother, Henry Kenny, is in danger of losing his seat with early tallies indicating Fine Gael could lose two seats.

And here’s Pat Rabbitte’s take on the Sinn Féin strategy:

http://vine.co/v/MwvBVTOvV6i

Meanwhile, speaking about government business, Rabbitte said he believes the Programme for Government will be renewed to set out new priorities.

An interesting question from Sinead, a former resident of Priory Hall.

One of the arguments being used by Labour’s powers-that-be about today’s poor performance is that people will be slower to vote for Sinn Féin and the Independents in the next general election as they may not trust them with their tax money.

What do you think? Is that an obsolete argument now that people have obviously put their faith in the smaller parties and Independents? After all, today has already been dubbed Independents’ Day.

Do you trust Sinn Féin and the Independents to make budgetary decisions?


Poll Results:

No (2321)
Yes (2053)
I don't know (311)



More from Órla Ryan in Castlebar on Henry Kenny, brother of Taoiseach Enda.

Fine Gael tallymen saying not to rule Henry Kenny out just yet, a lot will depend on transfers.

Some good news for Fine Gael in Castlebar, according to Órla.

Fine Gael could take top three spots according to tally for Ballina Co Mayo – Munnelly, Winters, Cruise. One box still to be tallied.

Current tallies from the RDS show that Lord Mayor of Dublin Oisín Quinn’s seat on Dublin City Council could be in jeopardy.

Where would that leave him and his medals?

Christina Finn has been investigating.

He will stay in office until the end of his term – which is 6 June. A meeting will be held about the next Lord Mayor and he will hand it over at that meeting.

Read more here:

Oisín Quinn will remain Lord Mayor of Dublin even if he loses council seat

Summing up the Labour mood today are candidate John Gallagher and his brother Michael from the Liberties in Dublin.

Counting the Votes. European and Local Source: Sam Boal/Photocall Ireland

Meanwhile, there are complains in Wicklow because of a lack of public seating at the count centre.

Interested in tomorrow’s count for the European elections.

RTÉ’s exit polls are predicting wins for:

  • Lynn Boylan, Sinn Féin in Dublin
  • Brian Crowley, Fianna Fáil in the South
  • Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan, Independent in Midlands North West

Find out who could take the other 8 seats available, here.

Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan is taking his poll position as an opportunity to hit out at what he describes as ‘old media’.

We’re still hearing from tallies across the country but no official results just yet.

The first actual results should be with us fairly shortly but we won’t know everything for quite a few hours yet.

Daragh Brophy has explained the process – as well as the role the Defence Forces play – here.

The big news so far is that Sinn Féin is on course to win a large number of new seats in many counties – and could be the biggest party on Dublin City Council.

And, on the opposite side of the fence, Labour will lose a large chunk of its vote share.

So, it’s celebration time for Mary Lou McDonald, Lynn Boylan & co.

Lynn Boylan Voting accompanied by Mary

ATTENTION!

We’ll have results from the first count in the Dublin West by-election shortly, according to the Returning Officer at Citywest.

loud voices

Joan Burton speaks out about the Labour party’s dismal showing today. From Hugh O’Connell:

She quoted Barack Obama, when he once described the mid-term elections in the United States as ‘shellacking’ for Democrats, and said: ‘They are mid-term elections and as I said, using Barack Obama’s phrase, the Labour Party has taken a shellacking from citizens, from people who went out to vote.”’

Shellacking

PastedImage-69450

Read more here:

Joan Burton: The Labour Party has taken a shellacking from citizens

How will Fianna Fáil handle this one?

PastedImage-78354

The party was very clear that it had backed just one candidate in the Blackrock ward but now it looks likely that both Kate Feeney and Mary Hanafin will be elected.

The latest tallies for the Blackrock local electoral area show the former Minister for Education is on 14.4 per cent, with newcomer and president of Ógra Fianna Fáil Kate Feeney on 12.4 per cent.

What should have been a great news story for the party in an area (where Hanafin, herself, called its performance ‘brutal’ and ‘awful’) has turned into a public relations minefield.

Read more about the Battle of Blackrock from Christine Bohan here.

The situation after Count One in the Dublin West by-election.

  • No candidates have reached the quota following the first count.
  • Seán Lyons, John Kidd and Daniel Boyne will be excluded from the next count. 

Here are the number of first-preference votes each candidate received:

Paul Donnelly (Sinn Féin) – 6,056

Ruth Coppinger (Socialist) – 5,977

David McGuinness (FF) -5,053

David Hall (Ind) – 3,803

Roderick O’Gorman (Green Party) -1,856

Lorraine Mulligan (Labour) – 1,505

Seán Lyons (Ind) – 649

John Kidd (Ind) – 228

Daniel Boyle (Fis Nua) – 113

Eamon Coghlan (Fine Gael) – 3,715

In Dublin West, the quota is 14,478 so nobody close to that yet.

Sinn Féin’s Paul Donnolly topped the first count with 6,056 first preferences.

Altogether, there were 395 spoiled votes.

Our Political Editor Hugh O’Connell explains why transfers will be key in the Dublin-West by-election which, at this point, is way too close to call.

Here’s his view from Citywest.

And we have have a councillor:

BREAKING: Michael Kilcoyne Ind elected in Castlebar with 2,919 votes – nearly double the quota #le14

We have just one official result (out of 949) from the local authority elections but Sinn Féin can probably start celebrating already.

Paul Hosford has been looking at how the party are set to have the largest representation on Dublin City Council.

Click here for the tally-breakdown from each ward.

The first counts will start coming thick and fast now. From Galway:

Looking for who has been elected in your area?

We’ll be keeping this post updated throughout the evening, night and early morning.

PastedImage-6124

Local journalists in Wicklow are surprised at the showing from the Green Party, it seems.

THERE HAS BEEN ANOTHER ANNOUNCEMENT IN CASTLEBAR:

There’s a second count in from Dublin West and it’s even closer.

Paul Donnelly is still on top with 6,120 but is still way off the quota and is just EIGHT votes ahead of the Socialist Party’s Ruth Coppinger.

Worth noting that there was quite a bit of count drama the last time Coppinger ran for a Dáil seat in the constituency.

nailbiting

In Dublin West, Labour’s Loraine Mulligan and Roderic O’Gorman of the Green Party have been eliminated.

Hugh O’Connell has more here.

Dublin has a councillor. And the celebrations have started for Daithi Doolan (Sinn Féin) in Ballyfermot-Drimnagh.

http://vine.co/v/MwrXjQ5F7a6

Mary Hanafin has made an appearance at Citywest count centre, speaking to RTÉ about her mandate from the people of Blackrock.

She also said that people will be worried about the rise of Sinn Féin.

http://vine.co/v/MwrdmAB3QDa

There will be no official results for more than 24 hours but Eamon Ryan was accepting congratulatory hugs in Citywest earlier today after exit polls put him in third place in Dublin – which could mean he takes the final, precious MEP seat.

Election counts. Green Party leader an Source: Laura Hutton/Photocall Ireland

Swapping teams seems to have worked well for Chris Andrews. The former Fianna Fáil man is going to top the polls in the Pembroke South Dock area of Dublin for Sinn Féin.

He’s still nervous though.

No matter how many elections you are in…. its still stomach churning waiting on figures…!

More from the Battle of Blackrock, which is a bit of a misnomer now.

Micheál Martin was tripping over himself to congratulate young candidate Kate Feeney during an interview in Cork this afternoon.

However, he was very slow to offer the same sentiments to former Cabinet colleague, Mary Hanafin. From reporter, Michelle Hennessy:

While he acknowledged that ‘Mary Hanafin has done well’, he made a point of congratulating Feeney, saying  he was ‘delighted’ for her and she showed ‘great courage and great nerve’.

‘You’ve been through a baptism of fire and you stood up to it,’ he said.

As the results come in….

…we’re keeping ourselves energised:

 

Reports of a “discrepancy” in Wicklow so no first count yet. Labour candidate Ian McGahon says, “we’ll be here in Count Centre til Monday at this rate”.

We’re up to 15 seats filled in the local elections. But don’t get too excited yet – that’s out of a total of 949.

If you want to check if anybody has been elected in your ward, click here.

Some count centres have said it will be 7 or 8pm before they have a first count for us.

Want to hear more from Mary Hanafin?

PastedImage-56868

  • She says she has great faith in Micheál Martin.
  • She believes the country works very well with political parties.
  • She cannot see a Fianna Fáil and Sinn Féin coalition.
  • And she has “no intention of talking about the last two weeks at all” – we presume referring to what we like to call the Battle of Blackrock.

More news from the interesting fight in Dublin West between the Socialist Party and Sinn Féin.

Ruth Coppinger has pulled ahead of SF’s Paul Donnelly by 448 votes and Eamon Coghlan has been eliminated.

Fine Gael has a councillor elected. It’s first of #LE14.

And the notable honour goes to Kate O’Connell in Rathmines-Rathgar in Dublin.

PastedImage-27235

A second Fine Gael councillor has been officially elected. Joe Cooney has made the cut in Killaloe in county Clare.

And this is his first action as an elected representative:

Meanwhile, the Anglo-Celt, a local paper in Cavan reports on spoiled ballots.

Hugh O’Connell has been speaking to Ruth Coppinger in Citywest.

Speaking after arriving at Citywest a short time ago, Coppinger said that the result so far was “somewhat inevitable if you consider the level of anger, the level of disillusionment with the establishment parties”.

Read more about the close-run count here.

Expect to see lots of scenes like this on news bulletins over the next two nights as Sinn Féin prepare to celebrate some major election victories.

This is the reaction to Janice Boylan’s election in the North Inner City, as witnessed by Paul Hosford.

http://vine.co/v/MwrtTpz9qF2

Philip Lynam has been elected in the Swords ward. The Sinn Féin candidate – now councillor – showed us the impact 10 weeks of canvassing had on his shoes yesterday.

PastedImage-90487

News in from Cork City – the north east ward – where Sinn Féin has had another win. Stephen Cunningham is in, as is the Workers’ Party Ted Tynan.

Speaking from Citywest, our political editor says there is ‘huge media’ interest in Hanafin.

If you are still interested…here’s 36 seconds with Mary.

Source: Hugh O'Connell/YouTube

Following up Philip Lynam’s shoe picture, we’ve discovered this canvassing thing may be quite the health fix.

Micheál Martin told Newstalk he has lost about a stone and the “suits are very loose now”.

Fianna Fails Reaction Shatter Resignation Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

That’s it from me, Sinéad O’Carroll, for the day. Thanks for keeping us company as we watched the ups and down of what will forever be known in my mind as Sinndependents’ Day.

TheJournal.ie editor Susan Daly is taking over this liveblog now and will be bringing you all the results, drama and craic from the count centres across the country.

Stay tuned.

Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald and Gerry Adams due here in Citywest in the next half hour or so. It will be a triumphant entrance for the duo whose party are celebrating unprecedented success in the local elections today.

Oh it’s all good craic when you’re likely to get elected, isn’t it? (That’s Paul Donnelly, elected councillor and still fighting Ruth Coppinger for Dublin West TD seat; David Hall, while not elected in the locals, is happy with his performance.)

http://vine.co/v/MwrluwTmmJP

And in case you think we’ve forgotten you there in Longford-Westmeath, the first count is due for the by-election there – and so is Taoiseach Enda Kenny according to the Westmeath Examiner:

No candidate has reached the quota on first count of the by-election at Longford-Westmeath, but Donal Jackson and John McNamara have been excluded. #lw14

Meanwhile, Brid Smith of People Before Profit has taken a seat at Ballyfermot-Drimnagh in the locals. She’s also running in the European elections…

  • See who exactly has been elected to your local council with TheJournal.ie’s constantly updated candidate list.

The two by-elections in Dublin West and Longford-Westmeath are getting down to the wire now.

We know that Gabrielle McFadden (FG) – running for the seat left vacant by her sister Nicky’s sad death – is topping the poll, 3,455 votes ahead of Aengus O’Rourke (FF, Mary ‘Mammy’ O’Rourke’s son).

And our Political Editor Hugh O’Connell says that another count is due in Citywest shortly.

Remember our reporter Ronan Duffy mentioned today that Chris Andrews – late of Fianna Fáil, but now with Sinn Féin – was doing rather well in Pembroke-South Dock?

Well, he’s just secured that council seat for himself says our man in the RDS, Paul Hosford:

http://vine.co/v/Mw6Xna3p702

I have experience in a number of diverse projects and community organisations and I have developed skills and knowledge in politics whilst I was member of the UDPS political party in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

That is a quote from Edmond Lukusa, a Congolese native and Irish citizen since 2007, who TheJournal.ie interviewed back in November when he announced he would be the first-ever African candidate for Sinn Féin in local elections.

He has just won his seat in Mulhuddart.

We can only imagine.

The reason there is a by-election in Longford-Westmeath is because of the untimely passing in March of Gabrielle’s sister, Nicky McFadden, after a long battle with motor neurone disease.

Her funeral Mass heard that:

Nicky fought it with every fibre of her being but slowly accepted the gradual limitations it brought. The slow onslaught of her sickness saw Nicky embrace this challenge, as she had done in the past, with all the determination and fight she could muster.

She left behind two children and was just 51 when she died.

File Photo FINE GAEL TD Nicky McFadden has died. She was 51. Her death follows a long battle with Motor Neurone disease. Source: Eamonn Farrell/Photocall Ireland

As we reckoned, FF’s David McGuinness has benefitted hugely from Eamonn Coghlan’s transfers in the Dublin West byelection. And the result of that?

Wow. So that means SF’s Paul Donnelly has been knocked off his one-two fight perch with SP’s Ruth Coppinger.

And David Hall is out:

http://vine.co/v/Mw6dQ1tMdju

The more minor ripples of losing your seat…

Hat-tip to Suzy Byrne/@suzybie for her eagle eye on that unfortunate soul.

BREAKING: Sinn Féin’s Paul Donnelly – near the top in the tallies – has been ELIMINATED in the fifth Dublin West count.

Third count result is in from Longford-Westmeath and it sees Brian Fagan (ind) eliminated.

Electoral count enthusiasts, I don’t know if this will make you feel better or worse… we’re one-tenth of the way to filling the nation’s council seats.

Source: giphy.com

Would you look at that – the New York Times has taken an interest in the local and European elections here.

Their reporter Douglas Dalby writes:

After almost seven years of economic austerity, voters vented their anger toward the government coalition parties, Fine Gael and Labour, blaming the latter in particular for its perceived failure to protect not only the interests of the poor but also its lower-middle-class supporters.

Well, ain’t that a kick in the head.

Ruth Coppinger – likely to top the poll and take the Dublin West Dáil seat – is back in the building.

http://vine.co/v/MwgnP5B6gV9

“Yep, the Socialists reckon they have won in #dubw” tweets Hugh O’Connell.

It looks like a few electoral areas are having to put off their counts until the morning. West Mayo, for one.

BREAKING: Ruth Coppinger of the Socialist Party has officially been elected as the latest TD in Dublin West.

She beat Fianna Fáil’s David McGuinness into second place by 2,453 votes.

Here’s Ruth looking delighted:

http://vine.co/v/MwgXu7hQnrU

Here’s David looking sad as he loses his second by-election in a row:

Source: Hugh O'Connell/TheJournal.ie

Interesting sidenote from The Clare Champion who note that even the nephew of President Michael D Higgins can’t escape the Labour slump.

Donal Higgins, running for Labour, was eliminated in Killaloe in Clare just now.

We were interested to hear that Donnchadh Ó Laoghaire has been elected to Cork County Council for Sinn Féin today.

Ó Laoghaire had spoken to TheJournal.ie about the fact that candidates had been forbidden from canvassing at centres where asylum-seekers were being housed. This was despite the fact that thousands of residents in these direct provision centres are actually entitle to vote.

You can read that story here.

Meanwhile, our reporter Órla Ryan, holding fort in the centre of the Taoiseach’s heartland at Castlebar’s counting centre, has bad news for him:

Oh dear.

Dan Boyle of the Green Party earlier.

And so it begins.

Some electoral areas don’t even have their first count finished, and Killaloe (Clare) is seeing one partial recount already.

Source: fabrizio autore/YouTube

This just in: Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran (independent) has been elected a councillor in Athlone but has just been eliminated from the Longford-Westmeath by-election on the fifth count.

No outright winner yet in #LW but it looks like Gabby McFadden will take her late sister’s place in the Dáil.

Strange times, my friends.

This means that both the Mayor of Dublin (Oisín Quinn – Lab) and the Mayor of Cork have both lost their council seats today.

Voting has been suspended in the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh electoral area until tomorrow as there will be a recount of the votes splitting Sheila Howes (Labour) and Louise Minihan from Éirigí.

Apparently TheJournal.ie HQ is a democracy too and so I have been handed a majority ruling that I have to break with election results for a moment and bring you this appeal:

Back to the matter in hand.

  • Our reporter in Castlebar, Órla Ryan, tells us that the West Mayo count is being held over until the morning. A recount of the Ballina vote will take place at 2pm.
  • So it looks like the counters there will be aiming to get through Castlebar, and get a start on Claremorris, tonight before they wrap up.

Órla also interviewed the very first candidate to win a seat today in the locals, independent Michael Kilcoyne.

He said he wasn’t surprised two FG councillors had lost their seats at Castlebar – the Taoiseach’s home area – as people are “suffering terrible hardships” with some even “going to bed hungry”.

A recount has now been called for Castlebar too – that will begin at 2pm tomorrow.

People of Mayo, I feel your pain.

As a matter of interest, one Fine Gael councillor who did manage to get a seat in Castlebar for the Mayo County Council is the Taoiseach’s brother Henry Kenny.

Both he, Burke, Durcan, Gavin and McDonnell were deemed elected a short while ago without reaching the quota.

Castlebar, of course, will be seeing a recount at the request of Brendan Heneghan (FG).

Broadsheet.ie had this entertaining vision of a poster from H. Kenny with a certain, more high-profile, brother wafting about in the background:

Michael Healy-Rae’s brother Danny has been re-elected in Killarney. His son Johnny is expected to get a seat too.

Our question: Has Michael put his shoes back on yet?

We’re seeing a number of calls for recounts that will happen tomorrow – we’ve already mentioned some…

  • Ballina
  • Castlebar
  • Tallaght South
  • North Inner City
  • Rathgar Rathmines
  • Dun Laoghaire
  • Ardee
  • Ballyfermot Drimnagh
  • Killaloe

BREAKING: Longford-Westmeath due to announce its final count – and presumably, the election of Gabby McFadden for the Dáil seat here – shortly.

The first three elected candidates to get into Wicklow County Council have a pedigree that seems to reflect the voting results across the country: two independents and a Sinn Féin candidate.

(They are Tommy Cullen and Jim Ruttle – independents- and SF’s Gerry O’Neill).

Poor aul’ Kate Feeney has finally been officially elected in the Blackrock electoral area, several hours after her Fianna Fáil rival Mary Hanafin slid into a council seat.

The Battle of Blackrock is OVER. (Or is it?)

Independent Victor Boyhan and FG’s Barry Ward also got in on that fourth count in the past 15 minutes.

BREAKING: A poignant moment for Gabrielle McFadden (FG) as she is elected to succeed her late sister Nicky’s Dáil seat in Longford-Westmeath.

She had 2,494 votes in that last count – 20,058 overall.

Her nearest rival, Aengus O’Rourke (FF), had 2,150 in that last round – 14,581 overall.

Source: RTÉ still

Rush of seats filled as many count centres close for the night.

Two areas have not managed to return anyone to their councils yet at all (as of this moment, 0:58)

  • Donegal (still to fill all of its 37 seats)
  • Longford (still to fill all 18 seats)

You can see that all the others – while underway – still have a long day tomorrow ahead:

  • Wicklow (3 filled out of 32)
  • Wexford (6 filled out of 34)
  • Westmeath (6 out of 20)
  • Waterford (8 out of 32)
  • Tipperary (6 out of 40)
  • South Dublin (22 out of 40)
  • Sligo (3 out of 18)
  • Roscommon (2 out of 18)
  • Offaly (5 out of 19)
  • Monaghan (6 out of 18)
  • Meath (8 out of 40)
  • Mayo (8 out of 30)
  • Louth (7 out of 29)
  • Limerick (10 out of 40)
  • Leitrim (7 out of 18)
  • Laois (4 out of 19)
  • Kilkenny (1 out 24)
  • Kildare (11 out of 40)
  • Kerry (9 out of 33)
  • Galway County (10 out of 39)
  • Galway City (7 out of 18)
  • Fingal (15 out of 40)
  • Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown (11 out of 40)
  • Dublin City (27 out of 63)
  • Cork City (doing well on 21 filled out of 31)
  • Cork County (14 out of 55)
  • Clare (8 out of 28)
  • Cavan (11 out of 18)
  • Carlow (7 out of 18)

Some of the local authority counts that have closed their doors entirely for the night:

  • Kildare County Council
  • Galway City Council 
  • Clare County Council
  • Limerick City and County Council
  • Meath Council
  • South Dublin County Council
  • Waterford City and County Council

Almost all of Wicklow council’s LEAs (local electoral areas) have shut up shop. But here, Bray LEA, what are ye at? Go to bed!

Hats off to whoever is manning the Westmeath Independent’s Twitter account for being highly entertaining:

Not all bad news for mayors tonight.

Kieran Dennison, Mayor of the Fingal area in Dublin, has just been re-elected.

And he’s Fine Gael, which will surely gladden the heart of Enda Kenny when he wakes up. (Presuming he can sleep tonight.)

Those counters in Athlone, Westmeath are a determined bunch.

Two more counts and they should have the whole council filled.

Cork (which is still counting its socks off, city and county) is running a nice tidy online resource for each count.

If this is your kind of thing, check here:

As Ballinamore in Leitrimi fill their share of seats, we have to ask: Is there anyone still out there at all in Donegal? Not one seat returned there. Not a one. See exactly who has been elected so far on our exhaustive list here

One of the big recount danger areas of the evening has come true.

Thanks Oranmore-Athenry in Galway – we’ll see you for that TOTAL RECOUNT tomorrow.

Congratulations Leitrim! Your three electoral areas have done us proud and filled all 18 seats.

Have a good sleep now!

It must be infectious. Now Westmeath has filled its quota of 20 seats, as the Athlone ELA makes it final count.

Aengus O’Rourke, disappointed no doubt to lose out on a Dáil seat, has at least held on to his job as a FF councillor.

We are still here you know – it’s looking like Loughrea will deliver on a first count – a FIRST count – soon so keep checking with out candidate checklist here.

Tomorrow (as in today!), there are at least 14 electoral areas facing the pain of a recount… even as some councils (hello Donegal and Longford) have yet to identify any elected councillor at all.

We’ll be here with you again as soon as those start at 9am.

Until then, we’ll just be here in the corner.

Cover image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

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