Tuesday 27 September 2016

Dublin Bay North: Haughey is elected in 'group of death'

Published 01/03/2016 | 02:30

Sean Haughey of Fianna Fail celebrates at RDS Count centre as he won the second seat in Dublin Bay North constituency. Picture by Fergal Phillips.
Sean Haughey of Fianna Fail celebrates at RDS Count centre as he won the second seat in Dublin Bay North constituency. Picture by Fergal Phillips.

Fianna Fáil's Sean Haughey has won the second seat in Dublin Bay North. The son of the late Taoiseach Charlie Haughey got the family name back into the Dáil by securing his seat after the distribution of votes from eliminated Independent Senator Averil Power.

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Anti-Austerity Alliance candidate John Lyons was then eliminated.

Labour's Aodhán Ó Riordáin, Sinn Féin candidate Denise Mitchell and Independent candidates Tommy Broughan and Finian McGrath are now battling for the remaining three seats.

Mr Haughey said he was "feeling very excited" about the prospect of returning to national politics.

"It was very clear in the local elections that the Government were very unpopular and that unpopularity only increased as time went on," he said.

On the length of the Dublin Bay North count, dubbed the "group of death", he said it had "lived up to expectations".

"There has been a lot of high-profile people seeking election in this constituency," he said. "There were 20 candidates, so it was always going to be an exciting count and it has certainly lived up to expectations."

Independent candidate Ms Power was earlier eliminated after a mammoth recount, which started yesterday morning.

Ms Power said she was feeling tired after three full days in the RDS, but was "delighted that we built a campaign over the last few months and came within 40-odd votes of Tommy Broughan".

She also said it was important to verify the votes, adding she was concerned about some 150 votes being deemed invalid after not being stamped correctly.

"This constituency could yet come down to somebody winning or losing their seat on a dozen or so votes, and I think it's shocking that there are more than 150 votes where people expressed a clear preference, went to the bother of voting last Friday, and their votes have come to nothing."

Fine Gael's Richard Bruton was the first elected after he exceeded the quota of 12,271.

Mr Lyons, a councillor, expressed pride at the achievement of reaching the third day of counting.

"We put in a great effort from a pretty small campaign - just one councillor not belonging to a mainstream party," he said.

Irish Independent

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