Saturday 1 October 2016

Ross the only survivor of the old five-seat base

Published 01/03/2016 | 02:30

Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell celebrates her win in Dublin Rathdown with her husband Morgan and supporters. Photo: Damien Eagers
Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell celebrates her win in Dublin Rathdown with her husband Morgan and supporters. Photo: Damien Eagers

For a three-seater with only nine candidates, Dublin Rathdown proved an exciting constituency, with former ministers Alex White and Alan Shatter eliminated.

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The fact that Fine Gael's Olivia Mitchell didn't enter the fray this time, and former Fine Gaeler Peter Mathews ran as an Independent and was eliminated, meant Independent Alliance candidate Shane Ross was the only survivor from the previous five-seater, formerly known as Dublin South.

A last-ditch attempt at vote management by Fine Gael also came into play, which Mr Shatter raised after Green candidate Catherine Martin leapfrogged him to the third seat.

Fine Gael had sent election eve letters, signed by Enda Kenny and Brian Hayes, to voters in Stillorgan/Kilmacud and Clonskeagh/Roebuck asking them to vote for Josepha Madigan ahead of Shatter.

An angry Shatter tried to issue a countermand, but it was very late in the day.

"It's unfortunate that when you're running campaigns and people who aren't involved in them seem to think they can sit in Mount Street and impose views on people that bear no relationship to what's happening on the ground," he told the Irish Independent.

"I'm very disappointed obviously at the result. I believed that we had a very good possibility of winning two seats in this constituency."

Mr White said he would take time to reflect to see what the future holds for him.

"We are just partly through the day. I'll consider that. I came to politics late and some people might say I'm leaving it early, if indeed I make that decision.

"I haven't actually made any final decision. It's always difficult to make those big, life decisions on a day like this."

Ms Madigan beamed at winning a seat for Fine Gael.

"I'm absolutely thrilled and it is a real privilege to continue on Olivia Mitchell's work in this constituency," she said.

There was massive joy when the Green Party's Catherine Martin grabbed the third seat.

Irish Independent

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