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Full recount ordered in the Ireland South Euro constituency

Grace O’Sullivan is on 98,706 votes while Ní Riada follows close behind on 98,379.

Green Party senator Grace O'Sullivan (right) in conversation at the Ireland South count centre at Nemo Rangers GAA Club in Co Cork on Wednesday
Green Party senator Grace O'Sullivan (right) in conversation at the Ireland South count centre at Nemo Rangers GAA Club in Co Cork on Wednesday
Image: Michelle Devane via PA Images

Updated May 30th 2019, 2:43 PM

A FULL RECOUNT has been ordered for the Ireland South constituency.

The recount will begin next Tuesday, 4 June at 9am. It was ordered after Sinn Féin’s Liadh Ní Riadha requested it following an earlier recheck of votes. 

The recount will determine who will take the fifth and final seat in the tightly fought constituency where just 327 votes separate the fifth and sixth candidates.

Returning officer Martin Harvey spoke after the recheck had concluded this afternoon, Harvey said:

Liadh Ní Riada has confirmed that she wishes to continue with a full recount of all papers. Accordingly the count is now adjourned and will resume here at 9am on Tuesday next.

The recheck

Earlier, a recheck was carried out to determine who would take the seat.

The recheck was ordered after Green Party Senator, Grace O’Sullivan, looked poised to take the fifth and final “cold storage” seat in the constituency.

She secured 98,706 votes putting her ahead of her rival Liadh Ní Riada on 98,379 votes.

Returning officer Martin Harvey said a recheck  was requested by Sinn Fein and he had agreed to the application by the Ní Riada camp.

It involved involved an examination of each bundle of fifty votes belonging to O’Sullivan and Ni Riada to ensure they have been allocated correctly. Following the completion, either party had the option of requesting a recount.

That recount has now been ordered. 

State of play  

Yesterday, Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly became the first MEP to elected for the area, reaching the quota on the ninth count. 

Fianna Fáil’s Billy Kelleher was elected in the last count, and his surplus of around 11,786 votes was shared out among the final four candidates in the race for the final seat.

Independent TD Mick Wallace will secure the third seat in the constituency with sitting Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune set to take the fourth seat. The Ireland South constituency has five seats, including the one Brexit-dependant one.

Senator Grace O’Sullivan said she totally understood the basis for the recount.

“750,000 votes have been counted in the last few days. You can understand when it comes down to a full small hundred an error could be made.

At this point in time I am the holder of the fifth seat. The Brexit seat. The seat of uncertainty. I hope to hold it. 

“In the end the voters have voted. It is what it is and I am big and strong enough to keep going. I feel the returning officer here Martin Harvey has a magnificent team. He has run the whole process perfectly to this point,” O’Sullivan said. 

Midlands North-West

Yesterday, the Midlands North-West constituency finally filled its four seats. 

Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy, Independent Luke Ming Flanagan and Fine Gael’s Maria Walsh took the last three seats – joining Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness.

After Fianna Fáil’s Brendan Smith was eliminated his transfers propelled Walsh to third place, ahead of Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy, who is now their only MEP from Ireland.

In Dublin, Ciarán Cuffe of the Green Party topped the poll, taking the first available seat, with Fine Gael’s Frances Fitzgerald the next candidate to surpass the quota. On Tuesday, Clare Daly of Independents4Change and Fianna Fáil’s Barry Andrew took the final two MEP seats. 

Andrews missed out on the third seat after being leapfrogged by Daly on the fifteenth count, meaning that he will have to wait until Brexit happens to take the fourth and final seat in Dublin.

With reporting from Adam Daly and Cormac Fitzgerald

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About the author:

Olivia Kelleher

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