Saturday 1 October 2016

Dublin South Central: 'It's the right thing to do' Fianna Fail candidate calls for full recount

Ciara Treacy

Published 27/02/2016 | 19:59

Catherine Ardagh
Catherine Ardagh
Labour's Eric Byrne,Dublin South-Central (left) and Kevin Humphreys
Sein Fein deputy leader, Mary Lou McDonald celebrates with Aengus Ó Snodaigh and Dessie Ellis at the RDS count centre

Fianna Fail candidate Catherine Ardagh (FF) said calling a full recount for the final seat in Dublin South Central is "the right thing to do".

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"It's a lot of votes to catch up on," she said. "I wouldn't put my house on it but it's the right thing to do because the gap was so small."

Last night the distribution of Joan Collins' surplus brought Ardagh up to 7844 votes and AAA-PBP's Brid Smith up to 7879, before the count was adjourned to this morning when talks between both parties and offices took place.

Just five votes separated the two candidates in the previous count.

AAA-PBP candidate for Dublin South Central Brid Smith told independent.ie she is anxious for the counting to be "done and dusted".

"They've called for a recount," she said. "They're entitled to one so we're going for a full recount.

"I'd rather be out walking the dog or visiting my mam or something but I have to go through this.

"The only other time I was involved in something like this was when Richard Boyd Barrett got elected and Ivana Bacik called for a full recount twice.

Electorate Seats Total Poll Turnout Valid Poll Spoiled Votes Quota
74,942 4 43,551 58.11% 42,857 694 8,572

Count 1

Elected

COUNT CENTRE REPORTS:

"It took a day the first one and on the second day she conceded so we could be here all day."

The count is expected to separately look at spoiled votes, she added.

"My team, me, my director and my barrister, were having a meeting with the officers and Ardagh and her team so there were three on each side listening to what the officers said and arguing with what's going on but basically it just boils down to a full recount.

"Then separately and probably parallel we'll have a look at the spoiled votes and for that, it will be my team and her team.

"Anything that we see as disputatious, we'll just tag it and then disputes will be looked at later.

"They're quite anxious to get their staff going on this. They have 30 staff so they're quite anxious to get going.

"We're all anxious so it has to get done and dusted today hopefully. I'm hopeful, I trust them that they did their job right."

Meanwhile, Fine Gael stalwart Catherine Byrne said there was "a bit of history" made last night as she was re-elected to Dublin South Central.

A former Lord Mayor of Dublin, Byrne was first elected to the Dail in 2007.

Although her constituency - dubbed the 'People's Republic of Dublin South Central' - is known as a predominantly left-wing area, she took the third seat on the ninth quota.

"I think there has been a bit of history made this evening in a constituency that is a difficult one but I do believe that into the future, Dublin South Central will be a major player in the next government," she said.

"I’m hoping to be a member of government.

"I think we started a programme of recovery in this country with the people.

"People made it very clear on the door that there was light at the end of the tunnel but some people didn’t feel it and I think we have to continue that and I have no doubt in my mind that whatever government is formed into the future will have to stay on that path to recovery and give people the opportunity to go to work and give young people an opportunity to stay in education."

O'Snodaigh

Dublin South-Central poll-topper Sinn Fein’s Aengus O’Snodaigh TD said his party has done well but it’s still not as big as he would like.

Just past midnight, O’Snodaigh was returned to the Dail after reaching the quota on the seventh count, following the distribution of transfers from his party colleague Maire Devine.

The TD, who was first elected in 2002, is Sinn Fein’s party whip and spokesperson on social protection.

He became the first elected for the area and said his party will know early this week whether it is likely to be in the next government.

“We had 14 seats before, but I’ve been told we’re going to come up to about 24 or 25 seats,” he told independent.ie.

“The idea is to form a government based on the principles we have contested and that’s what we’re going to do in the next week or so.

“If that doesn’t happen, we’ll stand again until such time that we have a government that will implement those policy positions which looks after the vulnerable in our society.

“Maybe the next time we will run more candidates to ensure that SF will be by far the biggest party in the Dail.

“It’s going to be a tough time for us, we’re still not as big as I’d like to see the party.

“We have options now and we’ll know over the next couple of days what those options are, whether a coalition can be formed with us at the head or as part of a Right 2 Change agenda.”

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