Monday 5 December 2016

Dublin South Central: Smith elected at the end of a mammoth four-day count

Ciara Treacy

Published 02/03/2016 | 02:30

Bríd Smith (left) is congratulated by Catherine Ardagh after she took the final seat. Photo: Damien Eagers
Bríd Smith (left) is congratulated by Catherine Ardagh after she took the final seat. Photo: Damien Eagers

Bríd Smith was elected with 7,879 votes as the four-day count for the final seat in Dublin South-Central came to an end yesterday evening.

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The AAA-PBP candidate had a 35-vote lead on Fianna Fáil's Catherine Ardagh, before Ardagh called a total recount on Sunday.

Following the recount and adjournment on approximately 170 disputed votes, the final figures remained the same as after the distribution of Joan Collins' surplus, with Smith deemed elected.

Both candidates and their legal teams met with the returning officer, who explained the rationale behind the decisions made regarding disputed votes, prior to the announcement.

Smith said: "I wouldn't have enough days left in my life to thank the amount of people from Dublin South-Central and across the country who have been on Facebook, on Twitter, on my phone, ringing me, my family and friends who came to the count centre to support us when we had to supervise the recount. I was so overwhelmed and still am."

She was also thankful for the support to "ensure that People Before Profit won this seat on behalf of the working class of Dublin South-Central and kept Fianna Fáil out".

She added: "I don't mean any harm to Catherine Ardagh in saying that but it is important that this remains a very strong left-wing constituency and I'm delighted with the result."

Smith took the fourth seat in the constituency which returned sitting TDs Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Sinn Féin), Joan Collins (Independent) and Catherine Byrne (Fine Gael).

Smith, a councillor in the Ballyfermot-Drimnagh area and member of Unite trade union, also called for the Labour Party to be taken out of the trade union movement.

Irish Independent

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