OUTGOING MEP Deirdre Clune (FG) took the fifth seat in Ireland South on Wednesday evening, after a marathon count at Nemo Rangers GAA Club.
And Wexford TD Mick Wallace will join his Independents4Change colleague Clare Daly in the European Parliament, after securing the third seat, earlier in the day.
Mr Wallace picked up 27,001 transfers from Liadh Ni Riada’s distributed votes after the Cúl Aodha MEP was eliminated, following an abandoned recount.
Ms Ní Riada’s party had called for a recount after it became obvious that she was about to lose her seat last week. But on Tuesday of this week the recount was abandoned when the party acknowledged that it would not materially change the result of the original count.
Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly and Fianna Fail’s Billy Kelleher had already been elected and this week Green Party Senator Grace O’Sullivan picked up 15,681 transfers from Ní Riada. She frog-leaped over MEP Clune and took the fourth seat.
O’Sullivan had earlier trailed the Cork MEP by 2,306 votes. While Clune clinched the final seat late Wednesday afternoon, the fifth seat will only come into effect when the UK leaves the EU.
Mrs Clune told The Southern Star: ‘I’m very happy with our achievement in holding the seat for Fine Gael – I wasn’t fearful on the first count because even though I was down the pecking order a bit, the party vote held up at around 30pc.’
‘Personally I feel very sorry for Liadh, but it was one of those days when the party vote wasn’t with her and I’ve been there myself and that is politics. I think she had a good campaign but the vote wasn’t there for Sinn Fein this time,’ she added.