Sunday 4 December 2016

Longford-Westmeath: Fresh recount on the cards for Penrose

Published 01/03/2016 | 02:30

Fine Gael TD James Bannon
Fine Gael TD James Bannon

Independent candidate Kevin 'Boxer' Moran was elected to the 32nd Dáil for Longford-Westmeath after exceeding the 1,1056 quota with a surplus of 71 votes.

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He took the second seat in the constituency, with Fine Gael candidate Peter Burke edging closer to taking the third seat. He currently has 7,877 votes.

Soon after the result, Labour's Willie Penrose arrived in the count centre amid rumours he was calling for a recount in a bid to save his seat for the party.

"Of course I've asked for a recount, anything, 30, you'd have to," he told the Irish Independent, adding that he was exercising his democratic and legal rights.

Senior counsel Joe Revington was at the centre with the Labour party could be seen consulting with the chief returning officer, who is considering the request.

Outgoing TD James Bannon FG is now on 7,077 and Mr Penrose is at 7058, just 19 votes between them.

Sinn Féin's Paul Hogan is now on 7,370 votes and is contention for the fourth seat.

Fianna Fáil's Robert Troy was re-elected on the first round on Saturday.

The election results in Longford-Westmeath stalled as a recount dragged on last night when it was announced that Fianna Fáil's Connie Gerety-Quinn had been eliminated.

The recount commenced on Sunday night at the request of the Fianna Fáil Longford candidate and continued until almost 4am on Monday, when it was adjourned until yesterday afternoon.

Ms Gerety-Quinn - who overcame local opposition to become Fianna Fáil's Longford candidate as a result of gender quotas - was eliminated.

She was left just 40 votes behind Fine Gael TD James Bannon from Longford. If he loses his seat his county will not have a sitting TD.

Penrose, traditionally a Labour poll-topper, had thrown in the towel and conceded on Saturday that would not get a seat - but transfers saw him make a comeback on Sunday.

It is understood officials are considering adjourning the count until Saturday.

Irish Independent

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