Kildare South: Fianna Fail the big winners as they secure two seats
Surprise packet Fiona O'Loughlin finished ahead of her more experienced running mate, Sean O'Fearghail as the Fianna Fail candidates took the final two seats following a three-cornered battle with Labour's Mark Wall.
The one-two for Fianna Fail spelled the end to the Wall political dynasty and means that for the first time in almost two decades Labour will not be represented in the Dail for the constituency.
Ms O'Loughlin, who was added to the FF ticket after the selection convention had nominated only one candidate, is the first ever female Fianna Fail TD to be elected for the constituency.
She surpassed her more experienced running mate, outgoing deputy Sean O'Fearghail, to finish second behind Fine Gael's Martin Heydon, who reinforced his position as the party's kingpin in Kildare South by topping the poll .
Mr Heydon paid tribute to the Wall family, who he said had been great servants to the constituency and to the Athy area, in particular.
Labour suffered a drop of 16 pc, a figure that Mark Wall contributed to some of his supporters and voters having been transferred to the Laois constituency.
Unable to hold on to the seat first filled by his father Jack Wall in 1997, Mark also blamed his defeat on the Labour collapse nationwide.
Dad Jack said he was glad to be leaving national politics after his distinguished career but was sad that Labour had lost the seat and was also sorry to see so many of his former colleagues suffering a similar fate, including Emmet Stagg, who had first convinced him to run for Labour in 1992.
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