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Dublin: 20°C Thursday 11 August 2022

The low-downs: The 11 candidates who secured the least votes this election

Strange policies, late announced-campaigns and relative obscurity didn’t help these former Dáil hopefuls.

90112812 File photo Source:

IT WAS A weekend of high highs and low lows as the nation went to the ballot boxes to cast their vote.

As the results were counted, there were many notable high-profile casualties, with sitting ministers, party leaders and the guts of the Labour Party all failing to get re-elected.

Another cohort of candidates also didn’t get elected, however – but in most cases these candidates didn’t make it past the first count.

Almost invariably Independents, some with previous elections behind their belts, the following 11 candidates secured the smallest number of first-preference votes around the country in this election.

1. Patrick Feeney (Galway West – 22 votes)

A retired Aer Lingus worker, this was Feeney’s first time running for election.

He kept a fairly low profile on the run up to the election, which could partially account for him securing just 22 first preference votes – the lowest in the country.

However, on Saturday Feeney piped up, protesting the redistribution of his votes after the first count,

His protestations fell on deaf ears, however – and Feeney was the first eliminated on count 1.

2. William D.J. Gorman (Dublin Central – 27 votes)

Source: William Dj Gorman

Gorman gained a little bit of recognition on the run up to election day, thanks to his bizarre campaign leaflet, which included detailed accounts of his past, his relationship with his family and his sexuality.

However, this notoriety didn’t translate into votes, with Gorman receiving just 27 first-preferences in Dublin Central. He also ran in Dublin Bay South, where he fared better with 97 votes.

3. John Dominic Keigher (Dublin Bay South – 37 votes)

Source: John Dominic Keigher

Another obscure, late-entry to the fray, Keigher is a barrister by profession and had run previously in 2011 on a platform of tackling the banking crisis and restoring economic independence to Ireland.

We didn’t hear much from him this election, but Keigher gained some serious props in 2011 from for his typewriter made manifesto. No sign of a similar manifesto this time around but Keigher scored 10 more votes this year than 2011 so he must have been doing something right.

4. Dermot Mulqueen (Clare – 39 votes)

An artist and a Holocaust denier, Mulqueen previously tried to run for president in 2011.

Despite securing just 39 votes and being eliminated in the first round, he has been looking on the brightside:

mulq Source: Facebook

5. Sean Forkan (Mayo – 42 votes)

Forkan is an electrician based in Charlestown in Mayo.

He ran previously in the 2011 general election and secured just 29 first preference votes.

By those numbers, his 42 votes in this election can be seen as an improvement.

6. Fergal O’Connell (Dublin Fingal – 51 votes)

Based in Finglas and another unknown, he had ran previously in the Swords electoral area in the local elections and had polled 23 votes.

He fared a bit better this time around with a much bigger electoral area – securing 51 votes before being eliminated in the second count.

7. Donal Jackson (Longford-Westmeath – 53 votes)

Source: Donal Jackson/Facebook

A management consultant by profession, Jackson campaigned on issues of fair taxation and securing employment.

Unfortunately for him, he was quite late to the race and didn’t gain much traction with voters, securing just 53 votes.

Despite his low showing, Jackson’s answers to our candidate questions wasn’t substantially different to lot of candidates:

8. Kerry Guinan (Dublin Central – 58 votes)

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download (2) Source: Kerry Guinan

The second candidate on the list coming from Dublin Central, Guinan is an artist who was running on a platform of promoting the arts.

She was a late-comer to the campaign (a feature that seems to apply to a lot of candidates on this list), and secured just 58 first-preference votes before being eliminated in the first round.

Her answers to our candidate questions were very art-heavy, based on promoting “the total equality of art participation”. Maybe it was this singular focus that didn’t resonate with the voters.

Check out a more in-depth profile of Guinan here.

9. Frank O’Gorman (Dublin South-West – 59 votes)

A worker in the transport industry, this was his first time running for election.

His platform of wanting to have “an honest Debate on the extra 900,000 persons EU and non-EU straining Irish housing health and infrastructure” clearly didn’t resonate with voters, and he secured just 59 votes.

10. Cormac McKay (Dublin Central – 62)

12733979_511429305712072_9044056121572337213_n Source: Cormac McKay/Facebook

The only candidate on this list who is a member of political party, Direct Democracy Ireland’s (DDI) Cormac McKay ran in both Dublin Central and Dublin North-West.

His party didn’t fare too well around the country, but McKay’s two constituency strategy certainly didn’t help him pick up any votes.

He secured just 62 votes in Dublin Central but fared better in Dublin North-West, securing 158 first preferences there.

DDI’s campaign of advocating for the introduction of direct democracy just didn’t seem to resonate with voters.

11. André Sibo Hakizimana and Cordelia Nic Fhearraigh (Clare and Donegal – 70 votes each)

And last but certainly not least, we have a tie in gaelgóir Nic Fhearraigh from Donegal and Hakizimana from Clare – an economic policy consultant.

Hakizimana was quite non-existent throughout the campaign, with no information other than his occupation and where he is from (Ennis) readily available.

Nic Fhearraigh to her credit was more active throughout her campaign, however her approach of communicating solely in Irish, while admirable, would have alienated some voters.

Better luck next time, everyone.

Read: Poll-toppers: The 10 candidates who secured the most votes this election

Read: Champagne, selfies and a 40-car cavalcade in Healy-Rae victory tour

About the author:

Cormac Fitzgerald

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