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Final Countdown

In Photos: The painstaking and forensic process of counting the votes

Open ballot box. Take out votes. Sort out first preferences. Repeat ad nauseum.

AS THE FIRST results very slowly begin to trickle in this evening, spare a thought for the hard-working staff at count centres around the country.

Thousands of votes have to be carefully sorted according to first preferences under the watchful eye of campaign staff and election officials, before the business of working out transfers even begins.

Ballot boxes have been opened since 9 o’clock this morning, and with just a tiny percentage of councillors elected out of a total of 949 seats, some counts are expected to last late into the evening – and, for some poor unfortunates, possibly into the early hours of the morning.

And let’s not even talk about the European election ballots, which will be counted tomorrow.

Here’s what it looks like at the RDS in Dublin, the biggest count centre in the country, and Citywest hotel.

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

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

European Parliamentary elections Niall Carson / PA Wire Niall Carson / PA Wire / PA Wire

Local election count. Votes are sorted Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

European Parliamentary elections Niall Carson / PA Wire Niall Carson / PA Wire / PA Wire

European Parliamentary elections Niall Carson / PA Wire Niall Carson / PA Wire / PA Wire

European Parliamentary elections Niall Carson / PA Wire Niall Carson / PA Wire / PA Wire

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

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

Dublin Bye-election count. Count staff Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Dublin Bye-election count. Count staff Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland Laura Hutton / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

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

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

European Parliamentary elections Niall Carson / PA Wire Niall Carson / PA Wire / PA Wire

Read: All the latest election coverage > 

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