ELECTION LIVE: Grace O'Sullivan takes 4th seat and Clune takes 5th after distribution of Wallace's surplus

May 24th, 2019 7:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

Deirdre Clune will take the 5th or the 'Brexit' seat

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Wexford TD Mick Wallace will join his Independents4Change colleague Clare Daly in the European Parliament.


Reporting from the European election count (Wednesday June 5th)

at Nemo Rangers


With an announcement due shortly, it is expected that Green Party senator Grace O'Sullivan will take the fourth seat and Deirdre Clune will take the fifth - or Brexit - seat.

Deirdre Clune told the Southern Star:

“I suppose whether I end up with the Brexit seat or not, 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,” said Ms Clune

Ms Clune extended her commiserations to Sinn Fein’s Liadh Ni Riada who lost her seat, saying that she had got to know her well over the last five years as they both soldiered together in terms of getting to Brussels and Strasbourg and back to Cork and trying to work out the best travel arrangements.

“It’s difficult for someone to lose their seat - personally 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 – personally, I think she had a good campaign but the vote wasn’t there for Sinn Fein this time .”

The returning officer is expected to make an official announcement at about 4.15pm today.


Wexford TD Mick Wallace is set to join his Independents4Change colleague Clare Daly in the European Parliament.

But when the announcement was made at Nemo, the press were informed that he wasn’t present as he had missed a connecting flight from London to Cork following a weekend break in Italy.

Mr Wallace picked up 27,001 transfers from Liadh Ni Riada’s distributed votes on the 19th count.

That brought him over the quota of 119, 866 to take the third seat in Ireland South. Fine Gael’s Sean Kelly and Fianna Fail’s Billy Kelleher have already been elected.

Senator Grace O’Sullivan of the Green Party has picked up 15,681 transfers and frog-leaped sitting Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune.

She had earlier trailed the Cork MEP by 2,306 votes. The returning officer will now distribute Wallace’s 19,674 papers to see the order of the fourth and fifth seats.

The fifth seat is the ‘Brexit’ seat which will only come into play when, and if, the UK leaves the EU. There were 46,528 non-transferable votes from Mr Wallace.

Photo: Mick Wallace at the count centre last week.

9:15am: Following the abandoning of the recount in Ireland South yesterday, the count centre will today concentrate on distributing the eliminated votes of Liadh Ní Riada. 

Yesterday, Senator Grace O’Sullivan (GP) welcomed the news that Sinn Fein had abandoned its pursuit of a recount but on a personal note, she said she felt sympathy for Ms Ni Riada whom she felt had represented Ireland well in the European Parliament following her election at the first time of asking in the 2014 Euro elections.

'It’s ended very well but I am quite sad in a way for Liadh Ni Riada – it must be very difficult for her this evening – I do feel she served the country very well as an MEP – I had wished that she would be going to Europe along with myself but that’s not going to happen now,' she said.

Sen O’Sullivan said she expected that Ms Ní Riada’s elimination and distribution of her votes today would result in the election of Independents4Change candidate, Mick Wallace but she also hoped to do well in transfers and leapfrog Cork Fine Gael MEP, Deirdre Clune, who is currently in fourth position.

'Mick Wallace still has to be elected but would hope to do well from Liadh Ni Riada’s votes when they are distributed and Deirdre Clune is still in fourth position which is the seat I would like to take as the fifth seat is really a seat of uncertainty given it only become active when the UK leaves the EU,' she said.

'Tomorrow is another day and we will see where we are going when all the votes are distributed but today has been a long day and it’s been a tough day but it’s a lot tougher this evening for Liadh Ni Riada than it has been for me,' said Senator O’Sullivan.

Returning officer Martin Harvey addressed concerns about a full recount taking up to 28 days by drafting in extra counting staff and some 130 counters and 20 supervisors quickly counted the 200,000 or so papers allocated to Sen O’Sullivan and Ms Ní Riada to find just 121 discrepancies.


CÚL Aodha Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has congratulated The Green Party’s Grace O’Sullivan following Ms O Sullivan’s election to the European Parliament.

Ms Ní Riada conceded following the initial stages of a recount in the Ireland South constituency.

Ms Ní Riada said: 'I want to warmly congratulate Grace on her election to the European Parliament. I am happy that the democratic process has delivered the clarity we sought given that the initial difference was so tight. I want to sincerely thank returning officer Martin A Harvey and his terrific staff for their diligence and hard work. We ran a hard fought campaign and we left everything on the pitch. Unfortunately, we came up short this around. I want to express my undying gratitude to my office staff, my campaign team and every member of Sinn Féin and those who voted for me.

'I am incredibly proud of my term as an MEP. I always did my very best to deliver for constituents and to defend Ireland’s interests in the European Parliament. Over the past five years, Sinn Féin’s team of MEPs have stood up for equality, social justice and democracy. I am honoured that I was part of those efforts.

'For now, let me wish those elected for the coming term of the European Parliament all the very best for the work ahead.'

6:40pm/EUROPEAN RECOUNT: Sinn Fein has decided to call off the recount in Ireland South, which is currently ongoing at Nemo Rangers. Following an examination of recounted ballots this afternoon, it was decided that the recount need not now continue. Although the original count has yet to be concluded, it looks likely that Green party Senator Grace O'Sullivan will claim the final - fifth - seat. This seat will only be activated in the event of Britain leaving the EU. It would mean that sitting MEP Liadh Ní Riada, from Cúl Aodh, will not be returned to her seat in the European Parliament.


A full recount is underway of European election ballot papers in the Ireland South constituency. Both Cork City Councii and the Court Services have released staff for the process with some 120 counters counting the ballot papers.

A further 20 supervisory staff are involved in compiling the votes but Martin Harvey, Ireland South Returning Officer, declined to comment on how long the count might take.

The recount was called by outgoing Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada last Wednesday night as she faced losing her European Parliament seat to the Green Party’s Senator Grace O’Sullivan

There has been some speculation that the count could be finished by this coming weekend with informed sources expressing surprise at some media reports that it could take up to 25 days to get a result.


EUROPEAN RECOUNT: The recount in the Ireland constituence, which was requested by Liadh Ní Riada of Sinn Fein, is due to get underway this morning at Nemo Rangers GAA club. Returning officer Martin Harvey has estimated it could take up to 28 working days as there is a reduced counting staff. A total of 200 staff were engaged for the initial count, but that number has now reduced to about 80 as those earlier staff returned to their fulltime jobs. It had earlier been estimated that the recount could cost up to €1m. Updates to follow throughout the day.


EUROPEAN COUNT: So, that's it - we are all done until 9am on Tuesday, when the recount will begin. Staff seal the doors at the Nemo Rangers clubhouse and everyone takes a break for the weekend:




A full recount is due to get underway in the constituency of Ireland South next Tuesday which could cost over a €1m and last up to 28 days. The recount is going ahead despite the fact that sitting Sinn Fein MEP, Liadh Ni Riada, picked up just one vote this morning after the examination of 200,000 papers.

The hall at Nemo Rangers GAA club in Cork will be sealed until the count resumes next week.

Returning officer Martin Harvey denied suggestions that it was a logistical nightmare. 'It is difficult but it can be overcome. We will overcome it and we will do it. Unfortunately it will take time,' he said.

'What we are proposing is to count from Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm or 6pm. We won't count at weekends. If we did we wouldn't be able to get the staff. This is democracy in action and in process. I haven't worked it out yet (the cost) but I have heard reports of (it costing) over a €1m, it's hard to call.'

Liadh Ní Riadh is pictured below with returning officer Martin Harvey on the day she lodged her nomination papers for the election.



EUROPEAN RECOUNT: A full recount is to take place in Ireland South beginning next Tuesday at Nemo Rangers. The returning officer Martin Harvey believes it may take another 28 working days for a full recount. 


EUROPEAN COUNT: We are back at Nemo Rangers where a recheck will decide if there is going to be a full recount or not, following last night's request by SF's Liadh Ní Riadh. Here is how it was announced:



EUROPEAN COUNT: A full recheck/recount is set to get underway in Ireland South tomorrow which will determine whether the fifth seat in the constituency goes to Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ni Riada or Green Party Senator Grace O'Sullivan. Following the 18th count distribution of Billy Kelleher's 11,786 papers Grace O'Sullivan is on 98,706 votes whilst Ni Riada follows close behind on 98,379. Just 327 votes separate the candidates. 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. Senator Grace O'Sullivan said she totally understood the basis for the recount.


EUROPEAN COUNT: Following the results of the 18th count, which show Sinn Féin's Liadh Ní Riadh in last place, the Cúl Aodha MEP has requested a full recount and the returning officer has granted her request. The count has now been adjourned until 9am tomorrow morning, when it will resume at the Nemo Rangers GAA club.


Fianna Fail TD, Billy Kelleher, took the second seat in the Ireland South Constituency shortly before 8pm today having received a massive 38,767 transfers from his running mate Councillor Malcolm Byrne in the 17th Count. Flanked by Party Leader Micheal Martin Kelleher said he was "elated, honoured and humbled' as well as "exceptionally relieved. It is democracy in action. Very often I am more anxious for those out campaigning than for myself. Being honest friends, family, party members, the organisation are doing so much on a voluntary basis with no gain for themselves other than they believe in something.  In this business belief is important. It really is. It is a wonderful feeling to be elected by friends, neighbours, people you know and people you don't know across the constituency. It is a really humbling experience and an emotional one.'

Meanwhile, Sitting Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune has made the political comeback of her career fighting her way back in to fourth place having received 8,192 transfers from Councillor Byrne. The distribution of  Byrne's 80,000 votes in Count 17 have had a massive bearing on the tightly fought constituency.  

 Independent TD Mick Wallace looks set to win the third seat as he is currently on 109,149 with a quota of 119,866. 


EUROPEAN COUNT: FF's Billy Kelleher is elected and his surplus will now be distributed:


EUROPEAN COUNT: Fianna Fail TD Billy Kelleher looks set to take the second seat in the Ireland South Constituency with the expectation that the Cork native will be elected later this evening.

Sitting MEP Deirdre Clune was thrown a lifeline in the sixteenth count when she received a massive 20,183 votes from the distribution of her running mate Andrew Doyle's and Labour's Sheila Nunan's papers. This represented over a quarter of the available transfers.

Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ni Riada seems to be battling for the fifth and final seat in the constituency with Clune. Clune received just 64,605 first preference votes in the first count on Monday.



EUROPEAN COUNT: After a long wait, the results of the 16th count are in and Malcolm Byrne is next to be eliminated:



EUROPEAN COUNT: Mick Wallace has pulled further ahead of Billy Kelleher in the 15th count:




EUROPEAN COUNT: Count centres throw up some strange ballot papers and Ireland South is no different!



EUROPEAN COUNT: Counting is resuming this morning at Nemo Rangers as just one seat has, as yet, been filled in the Ireland South constituency, that of outgoing MEP Sean Kelly. Updates throughout the day here.


Bantry Recount:

It’s official – Holly McKeever Cairns (Social Democrat) has been deemed elected to the fourth and final seat in the Bantry electoral area by a one vote majority after a second recount.

Speaking to the media afterwards, she said the outcome of the often tortuous four-day count underlined the fact that ‘every vote counts.’

Gracious in defeat, Finbarr Harrington (Ind) congratulated Holly and wished her well. He said she ran a great campaign and she is going to be a great councillor and represent Bantry very well.

Finbarr Harrington, who lost out on a Council seat by about 100 votes five years ago, said the four-day count represented ‘a difficult few days for us all,’ including Holly.

‘She has been through the same anxiety we have been through. But she is a brilliant and fair play to her. I wish her well.’

When asked if there would now be a legal challenge to the outcome, Mr Harrington said: ‘The process today has finished. ‘The director of elections, Maurice Manning, has deemed Holly elected, so this process has finished. There was a number of discrepancies in a number of ballot papers, but that is where we are at now.’


EUROPEAN COUNT: Mick Wallace leapfrogs over Billy Kelleher in the race for the second seat, after anti-austerity campaigner Diarmuid O'Flynn's votes have been distributed, in the 12th count:


Bantry Recount:

The candidates and their representatives went behind the cordon for a more public – but decidedly hard to hear – conversation with the returning officer about 22 disputed ballots shortly after 7pm.
It’s now 8.30pm and the group have broken for a short break. But they are to return once more to have what is expected to be a much shorter conversation about spoiled votes. 
Stay tuned.


BANTRY RECOUNT: Tension at the barrier in County Hall as observers sense the count is entering the last moments ... or is it?


EUROPEAN COUNT: After the 11th count, Diarmuid Flynn has been eliminated. Just one seat filled so far (FG Sean Kelly):



BANTRY RECOUNT: Richard Scriben of the Social Democrats has enough food for a funeral - or the 'stations' he tells Jackie Keogh, as they await the latest update.



BANTRY RECOUNT: Finbarr Harrington says it will all be decided tonight and there will be an announcement about 6pm:



BANTRY RECOUNT: Waiting Behind closed doors: the candidates in the Bantry electoral area are at a private meeting in the conference room on the 14th floor of County Hall. Waiting for white smoke!


EUROPEAN COUNT: In Ireland South, Breda Gardner has been eliminated after the 10th count at Nemo Rangers.


BANTRY RECOUNT: Maurice Manning, returning officer, spoke directly to the candidates at the second recount of the Bantry electoral area votes in County Hall.
He said: ‘We will look at the issues that have been raised and if that has any impact.’ He reminded the candidates that their representatives have also been raising a number of issues with the count staff.
He clarified for Róisin Shortall, co-leader of the Social Democrats, that there is indeed ‘a number of issues’ and that the count staff need to look at them.
He said: ‘We need to asses the impact, if any, of these issues. We will keep you informed right throughout the process.’
It will take about an hour.




BANTRY RECOUNT: And on it goes: Returning officer Maurice Manning tells the candidates there are a 'number of issues' that need to be checked and he will return to them with more news in an hour.


BANTRY RECOUNT: Looking like an announcement may be imminent here at County Hall.


EUROPEAN COUNT: FG MEP Sean Kelly has been elected on the 9th count in Nemo Rangers GAA Club. Theresa Heaney has been eliminated.


EUROPEAN COUNT: Ireland South - Count No 8 sees Sean Kelly edging ever closer to the quota, he is now just 151 votes short.


BANTRY RECOUNT: It’s back to business, but now there are lawyers in the room:


BANTRY RECOUNT: The candidates are back at the barriers with the tallypeople checking the ongoing count – the second in the Bantry electoral area. No one knows what the outcome is going to be, but with lawyers in the room from both the Cairns and the Harrington camps, there is a distinct possibility that this could end up in the courts.


BANTRY RECOUNT: The conference room is quiet once more as the scrutineers take a lunch break.


EUROPEAN COUNT: In the Ireland South Seventh Count, Sean Kelly picked up 165 votes bringing him to 119,545. The quota is 119,866. There were 804-transferable votes. Distribution of eliminated Peter O’Loughlin's votes to follow.


BANTRY RECOUNT: In a video interview with The Southern Star the two smiling candidates contesting the fourth seat in the Bantry electoral area – Finbarr Harrington and Holly McKeever Cairns – stood side by side and shared their feelings about the outcome of the recount of the votes.
Holly, who was one vote down on Sunday but one vote ahead today, told The Southern Star: ‘When it is one vote – it feels similar to yesterday. It’s a coin toss. We are into another recount – day four.’
Finbarr Harrington told The Southern Star he too feels the same as he did yesterday. But he said he also feels for Holly McKeever Cairns because he’s been there.
The two candidates only met for the first time four months ago at a public meeting, but have met several times since during the election campaign.
Finbarr said: ‘It is unfortunate that both of us are here today, but that is where we are.’ The Independent candidate described Holly as ‘a wonderful candidate and a great person.’
He said one vote in 11,537 votes is ‘so narrow,’ but they have no choice but to go through ‘the anxiety of the whole thing today.’
The Beara-based Harrington and the Ballydehob-based McKeever Cairns have already submitted themselves to the second count, which began shortly after noon, and might not conclude until 5 or 6pm this evening.
For now, they say there is nothing for it, but to let the Council staff do their job, and wait for the process to finish.


BANTRY RECOUNT: The vote is in and Holly McKeever Cairns (SD) is now out in front by one vote – a 180-degree turnaround from the result that was announced at the count centre in Clonakilty on Sunday.
The Beara-based candidate Finbarr Harrington (Ind) told The Southern Star he knew what it felt like to be ‘a councillor for a day’ but he praised Holly as a worthy candidate.
On Sunday, the Social Democrat candidate had the greater number of first preference votes at 1,274, with the Independent trailing at 1,101.
Finbarr Harrington dropped one in the first count and although there were a myriad of changes as announced by the Council officials, there was a truly cliff-hanger moment in the sixth count when both candidates were level at 1,777 votes each.
At the end of the eight count, on Saturday, Finbarr had 1,865 and Holly 1,864, but when the latest result was announced shortly before 11.30am this morning, Finbarr had dropped one vote to 1,864, while Holly edged ahead by one to 1,865.
‘You couldn’t write it,’ the Social Democrat candidate told The Southern Star. She’s right. If it were scripted as a Hollywood movie it would be rejected as been too fantastical.
But this is actually happening, and although the count centre here in conference room on the 16th flood of County Hall, is now quiet as the scrutineers, Council officials, and indeed the candidates take a breather, there is no escaping the fact that we are here for another long haul today after Finbarr Harrington called for another recount, as he is entitled to do.
The Southern Star will be updating its readers regularly throughout the day…


BANTRY RECOUNT: Holly and Finbarr talk about the latest twist in the Bantry recount saga:




BANTRY RECOUNT: High drama at the count centre in County Hall as the one vote differential in favour of Finbarr Harrington has now swung the other way - in favour of Holly McKeever. Finbarr Harrington has requested a recount!



EUROPEAN COUNT: Latest counts from the Ireland South constituency at Nemo Rangers - Counts 5 & 6 - no candidate elected as yet, but Sean Kelly getting close to the quota:



BANTRY RECOUNT: As the recount resumes at County Hall, the candidates are in heated discussion with the returning officer and staff. (Photo: Martin Walsh)

7:35am TUESDAY:

EUROPEAN COUNT: The count at Nemo was adjourned after midnight after the fourth count results and will resume this morning. It is expected that Sean Kelly, the sitting FG MEP, will be the first MEP elected in Ireland South, this morning, when counting kicks off again at 9am. The fourth count results were:

EUROPEAN COUNT: The third count results have been announced - the distribution of Peter Madden's papers:




BANTRY RECOUNT: WATCH - Maurice Manning says we are back at County Hall tomorrow as the fate of the final seat in the Bantry area still remains unsealed.


EUROPEAN COUNT: Fine Gael MEP and former GAA President Sean Kelly topped the poll on the first count in Ireland South shortly after 7.30pm  today with 118, 444 votes just shy of the quota of 119,866.

He was followed by Fianna Fail TD Billy Kelleher on 84,083 and Independents4Change TD Mick Wallace on 81,741. The field was rounded out by Sinn Fein MEP Liadh Ni Riada on 79,072,  Fine Gael Senator Grace O'Sullivan on 75,946,  Councillor Malcolm Byrne of Fianna Fail on 69,166 and sitting Fine Gael MEP Deirdre Clune on 64,605. 
 Five seats are up for grabs in Ireland South with a fight to the finish expected for the last spot. 

Sean Kelly said that he was pleased to top the poll particularly given that his party fielded three candidate with Andrew Doyle TD receiving 38, 783 first preference votes. 

"I didn't really expect it. What you have to consider is that we had three Fine Gael candidates. It is the only place where you had three candidates from one party so to head the poll in that circumstance is pretty satisfying alright."

 Kelly said that whoever gets elected they will have to work for Ireland and not spend their time "spoofing."  

Meanwhile, Independent TD Mick Wallace says that he will remain "a thorn in the side" of the Government even if he wins a seat in the European Parliament. 

"If I go to Brussels I guarantee you I will remain a thorn in the side of the Government here.' Deputy Wallace said he expected to pick up a lot of votes on transfers. 

Meanwhile, sitting MEP Deirdre Clune said there was lots to play for over the coming days. 


BANTRY RECOUNT: At 7.45 the candidates in the recount of the Bantry electoral area were called into a private meeting with the returning officer, Maurice Manning, and within 20 minutes they both emerged tight-lipped.

The returning officer told The Southern Star: ‘I have spoken to both candidates who are involved and I have advised them that I propose to conclude the recount at 11am tomorrow morning.’ The candidates will return to County Hall at 11am in the morning.


BANTRY RECOUNT: Returning officer, Maurice Manning, spoke to the candidates moments ago and confirmed that the recheck of the Bantry electoral area votes is ‘taking longer than anticipated.’ He said they would continue because ‘we want to get it to a conclusion.’


BANTRY RECOUNT: Róisín Shortall, co-leader and co-founder of the Social Democrats travelled to County Hall to support the party candidate in the Bantry electoral area, which is being rechecked.
She told The Southern Star: ‘I was determined to come down to support Holly and to acknowledge the really fantastic achievement she had in those votes – over 1,200 votes.’
Ms Shortall said Holly McKeever Cairns’s first preference vote of 1,274 was ‘extraordinary for a first time candidate and we are very proud of her.’
Ms Shortall confirmed: ‘There are a few votes that are being queried now – votes where the voter's intention may not have been entirely clear. They are being adjudicated on very shortly.
‘The counter said the staff have just produced that bundle. It is a thick enough bundle and we hope that we might do well out of that.
‘But there is no way of knowing at this stage. It really is a matter of just being patient and waiting for the final result.’
Depending on the outcome of the recheck, Ms Shortall said: ‘We will decide then about whether a full recount is required or not, but given that the margin between the two final candidates is so narrow with only one vote – even if a handful of other votes are discovered – the margin will still be small, it will be less than ten, so I think the likelihood is that there will be a full recount.’

WATCH the interview here:




EUROPEAN COUNT: The word in Nemo is that the first result in the Ireland South count will not now be available until 7pm at the earliest.



BANTRY RECOUNT: Returning Officer, Maurice Manning, has just had a brief meeting with the candidates in the recount of the Bantry Electoral Area: Finbarr Harrington (Ind) and Holly McKeever Cairns (SD) and confirmed that the Council scrutineers are reviewing ‘a small number’ of ballots and that he would have an update at 6.30pm.


BANTRY RECOUNT: The first ‘deadline’ has come and gone with no proverbial ‘white smoke.’
There have, however, been murmurings on the ground that two bundles – that were supposed to have 50 votes each – had, in fact, 51. Who these two allegedly stray votes will benefit is anyone’s guess at this stage.
On a less simplistic level, there are also suggestions that there are seven, possibly, eight votes so far that are ‘questionable.’ 
It has to be stressed that none of this is official – just word back from the tallyfolk who have been poised, almost motionless, over the scrutineers.
At the count centre in Clonakilty, some councillors looked physically queasy and actually described their ‘up-down’ performance during the counts as being akin to a rollercoaster ride. Here, it’s a 'white knuckler'.

Below: Holly and Finbarr discuss the votes with Maurice Manning of Cork County Council:


EUROPEAN COUNT: Mick Wallace is in top form at the count centre in Nemo. He says his passport is in order (for Brussels). 'It is amazing the amount of support I have got. I met so many good people across the twelve counties who said they were going to vote for me. They are telling me that it is looking good." When asked if he would spruce up if he goes to Brussels:  'I thought I was spruced up today! I am spruced up everyday. I generally change my clothes every day and I usually wash. Was it Brendan Behan who said 'I have a bath every year whether I am dirty or not? ' I have a shower every morning whether I am dirty or not!'


EUROPEAN COUNT: FG's Deirdre Clune, who, according to exit polls, may be in trouble, says tranfers have made the difference before, so it's still all to play for:




BANTRY RECOUNT: At County Hall, Finbarr Harrington and wife Fiona take a moment to relax, as no sign of a result just yet.


EUROPEAN COUNT: As candidates are in for a long wait for results at Nemo, Green candidate Grace O'Sullivan is in optimistic form at the GAA club this afternoon:



BANTRY RECOUNT: Finbarr Harrington, who was one vote ahead of Holly McKeever at the end of yesterday's count in Clonakilty, talks to Southern Star reporter Jackie Keogh. He says the count might not end today!



EUROPEAN COUNT: Charlie Flanagan arrives at the count centre in Nemo Rangers GAA club in Cork where it is now believed it will be 6pm before there is a first count result for Ireland South.


Shortly, before 2pm the returning officer, Maurice Manning sealed the conference room, where the Bantry electoral area recount is taking place, to allow the scrutineers take a lunch break, 16 floors below in the County Hall canteen.

Before returning to the hushed hall, Finbarr Harrington (Ind) took a moment in the corridors of power to talk to The Southern Star where he confirmed that there is ‘one last box to check.’

Mr Harrington said there is every indication that the recount could be finished by 5pm. However, the Independent candidate expressed the opinion that it could go into tomorrow.

‘We are all new at this,’ he said, ‘from what we can see there seems to be very little change, either way.  We have been given no definite count – they are checking everything.

‘There are a few queries that they will go through at the end with us.’ Then, he said, the count will be announced. ‘So until we get that we don’t know what is happening.’ 

He agreed that the next couple of hours ‘are going to be very anxious for both of us' - himself and Holly McKeever Cairns (SD), who got just one vote less then him when the eight count was announced at the centre in Clonakilty on Sunday. 

‘It has been a long campaign,' said Mr Harrington. 'Today, prolongs the agony. So we are going to sit back and relax … and let the staff do their work and see what happens.’


BANTRY RECOUNT: Maurice Manning of Cork County Council at the count today in County Hall today.



COUNTY HALL: Watching the count on Floor 16:



BANTRY RECOUNT: The re-count continues in County Hall for the Bantry local area, where just one vote separated Finbarr Harrington (Ind) from Holly McKeever Cairns (SD) for the last seat, when voting finished in Clonakilty yesterday evening. A spokesperson for Holly said that ‘no-one saw this coming.’ Newcomer Holly polled a very respectable 1,264 first preferences. ‘Holly’s figures were all the more surprising, considering she was identified by local election expert Adrian Kavanagh as one of the candidates most badly affected by the boundary change as she lives on the extreme end of the newly-minted sprawling Bantry LEA,’ one of her campaign strategists told The Southern Star. McKeever Cairns came third in first preferences after sitting councillors Danny Collins (Independent) and Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF), beating George Gill (FF), Katie Murphy (FG), former TD Noel Harrington (FG), John Dineen (FG),  Donnchadh Ó Seaghdha (Sinn Fein) and Lorraine Deane Ross (Aontu). But it was on transfers that the rankings changed, leaving McKeever Cairns and Finbarr Harrington battling it out for the last seat. Below: Holly at the count centre in Clonakilty yesterday with Danny Collins. (Photo: Martin Walsh)


COUNTY HALL: Cork County Council’s Maurice Manning, the returning officer who is presiding over the Bantry electoral area recount, confirmed that each of the 11,540 ballots are being checked to make sure they were correctly filed.

Mr Manning said the initial check is expected to take until late afternoon, and, ‘at that stage, we will assess the potential impact of any errors found in the course of the recheck.’

Speaking about the tension in the room on the 16th floor of County Hall, Mr Manning admitted: ‘You certainly don’t have the same reverence in other count centres. 

‘You certainly didn’t have that in Clonakilty over the weekend, or in County Hall, but here you have two candidates: one of whom was deemed to be elected yesterday, and one who missed out by one vote. Both of them are concerned about the outcome of a recount. The staff are being closely observed and that adds to the tension. Hopefully it will relax a bit during the day as the count progresses.’


EURO COUNT: Still awaiting first count results in Ireland South at a relatively quiet Nemo Rangers GAA club:



BANTRY RECOUNT: In the rather sterile environment of a large, modern meeting room on the 16th floor of Cork County Council, there are approximately nine Council officials behind the cordon, and not many more than that here at this stage to observe the recount of the Bantry electoral area where Finbarr Harrington (Ind) at 1,865 is one vote ahead of Holly McKeever Cairns (SD).

10:50am MONDAY:

The re-count for the Bantry electoral area will be starting at 11am in County Hall where our reporters will be keeping an eye on events. We also have reporters at the European election count in the Nemo Rangers GAA club across the city. Keep up-to-date with developments here throughout the day.

7:19pm SUNDAY:

JUST ANNOUNCED: The recount for the Bantry electoral area will take place at the County Hall in Cork city at 11am on Monday (tomorrow) May 27th.

7:14pm: Karen Coakley and Paul Hayes elected without reaching quota - all counts in West Cork are now complete.

Below: Paul Hayes, Sinn Fein, celebrating taking the very last seat in the Skibbereen electoral area. (Photo: Martin Walsh)


Distribution of Hurley’s surplus of 555 votes

Karen Coakley (FG) +53 =1,956*

Paul Hayes (SF) +107 =1,814*

JJ Walsh (FG) +75 =1,611

*Coakley, Hayes elected without reaching quota

The Skibbereen count is complete


7:04pm: The ninth and final count for the Bandon Kinsale area sees three seats filled without the candidates reaching the quota.

Bandon Kinsale COUNT NO 9

Distribution of Seaman’s 1,089 votes

Sean O’Donovan (FF) +237 +1,931*

Marie O’Sullivan (FG) +231 =1,984*

John O’Sullivan (FG) +263 =2,075*

Gordon Reid (Green) +43 =1,318

John O’Sullivan, Sean O'Donovan & Marie O’Sullivan elected

The count is complete.


6:54pm: Karen Coakley (FG) and Paul Hayes (SF) take the final seats in the Skibbereen area. The counting in the Skibbereen electoral area is now complete.


Independent TD Mick Wallace, who is hoping for a seat in Ireland South, has said that his election chances are wholly dependent on his performance on transfers and on how Fianna Fáil holds up in the votes. Speaking at the count centre in Nemo Rangers GAA club, Mr Wallace said that Fianna Fáil could perform better than the RTE exit poll predicted. 




COUNTY HALL: Final tally for Macroom: the 6 seats have gone to Moynihan (FF), Creed (FG), Looney (FF), Coughlan (Ind), Lynch (FG) and Lucey (FG). 


COUNTY HALL: And it’s a wrap! newcome Eileen Lynch (FG) and Ted Lucey (FG) take the last two seats in Macroom. Lynch came within one vote of reaching quota.


6:20pm: Clonakilty Mayoral Council election: The five successful candidates in the election for mayor of Clonakilty are: Michael O'Neill Jnr, who topped the poll, along with (in no particular order), Padraig O'Reilly, Chris Hinchy, Paddy McCarthy, and Anthony McDermott. This means that each of the five will serve a year in the role, over the next five years.

Below: Three generations of the O'Neill family celebrate Michael Jnr's election as mayor of Clonakilty.



Distribution of Kelly’s 1,304 votes

Karen Coakley (FG) +82 =1,903

Paul Hayes (SF) +97 =1,707

Declan Hurley (Ind) +680 =2,861*

JJ Walsh (FG) +73 =1,536

Hurley elected

Next count: Distribution of Hurley’s surplus of 555 votes


6:18pm: Finbarr Harrington talks to reporter Jackie Keogh about the recount which is likely to take place tomorrow:


Holly McKeever in optimistic mood at the count centre just now:



Bantry COUNT NO 8

Distribution of Katie Murphy’s surplus (67 votes)

Holly McKeever Cairns (SD) +23 =1,864

Finbarr Harrington (Ind) +12 =1,865

A recount was called by McKeever Cairns; time TBA



A FULL recount of the Bantry electoral area votes has been ordered with just one voting dividing two candidates vying for the last seat. Social Democrate Holly McKeever Cairns is in contention for the final seat with Ind candidate Finbarr Harrington. The time and venue for the recount will be announced later, as there are still two electoral areas to be finalised here this evening in the Clonakilty Count Centre.


COUNTY HALL: Independent candidate Martin Coughlan has got the 4th seat for Macroom electoral area. His surplus of 213 willl now be divided between remaining candidates Lucey, Lynch and Collins for the last two seats.

4:55pm: Count 9 for Macroom electoral area sees no candidate reach quota, Síle Ní Dhubhghaill (SD) is eliminated and her votes will be distributed in the next count.

4:52pm: Count 8 for Macroom sees no candidates reach the quota, Dennehy (Ind) is eliminated and his votes will be distributed in the next count

4:51pm: No candidate has reached the quota in the Macroom electoral area following the distribution of Michael Looney's surplus votes. PJ Feeney from Aontú is the next candidate to be eliminated


WATCH: Michael Looney (FF) at the Cork County Hall count centre on winning the third seat in Macroom:



WATCH: Newly-elected FG Bantry candidate Katie Murphy (20), a UCC student, talks to our reporter Jackie Keogh




Bandon Kinsale


Distribution of O’Regan’s 1,064 votes

Sean O’Donovan (FF) +64 =1,658

Marie O’Sullivan (FG) +225 +1,753

John O’Sullivan (FG) +22 =1,812

Kevin Murphy (FG) +200 =2,277*

Gerard Seaman (FG) +16 =1,089

Gordon Reid (Green) +186 =1,275

*Murphy elected

& Seaman eliminated

Next count: distribution of Seaman’s votes



EURO ELECTIONS/NEMO: As the first count is slow to be announced in Nemo in Cork city, Grace O'Sullivan (Green) who is expected to take a seat, told The Southern Star: '"It is hugely exciting no doubt about it. I am one of the new wave of Greens. I came in to the party just five years ago for the election in
2014. Eamon Ryan had plucked me out of Tramore having never been a
member of a political party in my life. We have worked extremely hard
with small resources and because of the hard work now we are seeing
the return.


4:10pm: The distribution of Yousuf Janab Ali's votes has given Sinn Fein a much-needed boost.


Distribution of Janab Ali’s 1,052 votes

Karen Coakley (FG) +130 =1,821

Paul Hayes (SF) +214 =1,610

Declan Hurley (Ind) +164 =2,181

Deirdre Kelly (FF) +41 =1,304

JJ Walsh (FG) +124 =1,463

Kelly elim

Next count: Distribution of Kelly’s votes


3:55pm: Katie Murphy, granddaughter of Michael Pat Murphy (Snr), who was a Labour TD, is elected. 


Bantry COUNT NO 7

Distribution of Patrick Gerard Murphy’s 473 surplus  

Holly McKeever Cairns (SD) +66 =1,841

Katie Murphy (FG) +84 =2,376*

Finbarr Harrington (Ind) +75 =1,853

*Murphy Elected

Next count: Distribution of Katie Murphy’s surplus


COUNTY HALL: No candidate has reached the quota in the Macroom electoral area following the distribution of Michael Looney's surplus votes. PJ Feeney from Aontú is the next candidate to be eliminated.



Bandon Kinsale COUNT NO 7

Distribution of Brennan’s 673 votes

Sean O’Donovan (FF) +293 =1,594

Marie O’Sullivan (FG) +37 =1,528

John O’Sullivan (FG) +80 +1,790

Kevin Murphy (FG) +70 =2,077

Gerard Seaman (FG) +37 =1,073

Gordon Reid (Green) +22 =1,089

Pat O’Regan (Ind) +18 =1,064

O’Regan elim

Distribution of O’Regan’s 1,064 votes



Liam O'Connor, a successful FG candidate in Carrigaline, talks to our reporter Kieran O'Mahony:



First time candidate Audrey Buckley talks to reporter Kieran O'Mahony:



2:41pm: Yousuf Janab Ali eliminated in the seventh count.


Distribution of Cahalane’s 843 votes

Karen Coakley (FG) +265 =1,691

Paul Hayes (SF) +43 =1,396

Declan Hurley (Ind) +167 =2,017

Deirdre Kelly (FF) +82 =1,263

Yousuf Janab Ali (Ind) +47 =1,052

JJ Walsh (FG) +150 =1,339

Janab Ali elim

Next count: Distribution of Janab Ali’s 1,052 votes



COUNTY HALL: The six seats have now been filled in Carrigaline Electoral area: two FF, two FG and two Independents- McGrath, Buckley, Lombard, O'Connor, D'Alton and Dalton O'Sullivan.

2:33pm: County mayor Patrick Gerard Murphy reaches the quota and is elected.

Bantry COUNT NO 6

Distribution of Gill’s 1,510 votes

Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) +489 =2,782

Holly McKeever Cairns (SD) +193 =1,775

Katie Murphy (FG) +375 =2,292

Finbarr Harrington (Ind) +153 =1,778

Patrick Gerard Murphy elected

Next count: Distribution of Patrick Gerard Murphy’s surplus



COUNTY HALL: First time candidate Audrey Buckley has secured a seat for Fianna Fail in Carrigaline, while Fine Gael’s Liam O’Connor has also won a seat 



COUNTY HALL: 19-year-old UCC student Ben Dalton O’Sullivan has surprised many to win one of the last seats in Carrigaline:



Bandon Kinsale


Distribution of Ruane’s 524 votes

Sean O’Donovan (FF) +36 =1,301

Marie O’Sullivan (FG) +42 =1,491

John O’Sullivan (FG) +17 =1,710

Kevin Murphy (FG) +34 =2,007

Dermot Brennan (FF) +30 =673

Gerard Seaman (FG) + 30 =1,036

Gordon Reid (Green) +74 =1,067

Pat O’Regan (Ind) +119 =1,046

Brennan elim

Distribution of Brennan’s 673 votes



COUNTY HALL: Fianna Fail’s Michael Looney takes the third seat in Macroom electoral area after 6th count.





Distribution of McCormack’s 700 votes

Karen Coakley (FG) +130 =1,426

Paul Hayes (SF) +125 =1,353

Declan Hurley (Ind) +63 =1,850

Deirdre Kelly (FF) +18 =1,181

Yvonne Cahalane (FG) +24 =843

Yousuf Janab Ali (Ind) +182 =1,005

JJ Walsh (FG) +15 =1,189

Cahalane elim

Next count: Distribution of Cahalane’s 843 votes



Bandon Kinsale


Distribution of Harrington’s 416 votes

Sean O’Donovan (FF) +32 =1,265

Marie O’Sullivan (FG) +23 =1,449

John O’Sullivan (FG) +12 =1,693

Kevin Murphy (FG) +43 =1,973

Dermot Brennan (FF) +20 =643

Gerard Seaman (FG) +11 =1,006

Gordon Reid (Green) +79 =993

Pat O’Regan (Ind) +62 =927

Mairead Ruane (Aontú) +46 =524

Ruane elim

Distribution of Ruane’s 524 votes



Minister Jim Daly on the failure of his former Dáil party colleague to get elected:



1:18pm: BANTRY: With George Gill eliminated, Patrick Gerard Murphy and Katie Murphy will probably benefit from the distribution, and it could be a tough battle for the final seat between Holly McKeever Cairns and Finbarr Harrington.

Bantry COUNT NO 5

Distribution of Noel Harrington’s 1,292 votes

Patrick Gerard Murphy (FF) +463 =2,293

Holly McKeever Cairns (SD) +74 =1,582

George Gill (FF) +46 =1,510

Katie Murphy (FG) +378  =1,917

Finbarr Harrington (Ind) +185 =1,625

Gill elim

Next count: Distribution of Gill’s 1,510 votes



COUNTY HALL: Fifth count for Macroom sees no candidate reach the quota with Fianna Fáil's Jason Fitzgerald now eliminated with his votes to be distributed in the next count 


COUNTY HALL: Following the distribution of Gobnait Moynihan's surplus of 191 votes in Macroom, no candidate has reached the&

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