Sunday 22 January 2017

Donnelly tops poll as Labour loses Ferris

Alan O'Keeffe

Published 01/03/2016 | 02:30

Deputy first Minister of the Northern assembley Martin McGuinness with Cllr John Brady at the Shoreline Centre, Greystones, Wicklow. Picture: Garry O'Neill
Deputy first Minister of the Northern assembley Martin McGuinness with Cllr John Brady at the Shoreline Centre, Greystones, Wicklow. Picture: Garry O'Neill

Wicklow lost two of its well-known TDs when Labour's Anne Ferris and Renua Ireland's Billy Timmins were both defeated.

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The pair were replaced by Bray Sinn Féin Councillor John Brady and Glendalough Fianna Fáil councillor and hotelier Pat Casey.

Social Democrats co-founder Stephen Donnelly topped the poll with over 14,000 first-preference votes - a stark contrast to his 2011 showing, when he won the last seat after a marathon re-count battle with Cllr Brady.

Fine Gael Junior Minister Simon Harris and the party's Andrew Doyle bucked the national trend by retaining both seats for their party.

Mr Timmins, a former a Fine Gael TD who was first elected in 1997, lost the party whip when he voted against the Protection of Life During Pregnancy Bill 2013.

Ms Ferris said she was upset Wicklow would have no woman TD and that the constituency would be without its traditional representation of a Labour deputy.

Elsewhere, Fine Gael's Doyle and Fianna Fáil's Casey both said they had no objections to their two parties entering into a coalition government together.

Doyle, speaking of the possibility of coalition, said he believed Fianna Fáil was "not outside the fold" of parties that Fine Gael could work with in a coalition.

Mr Casey conceded a coalition with Fine Gael with conditions "has to be looked at".

"We can't rule anything out. We have to act responsibly and we need to sit down and look at what's on the table and what's off the table.

"There are differences between the two parties so they would have to be overcome," he said.

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