Wednesday 23 July 2014

Eamon Ryan calls for recount as Nessa Childers and Brian Hayes take final two seats in Dublin

Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan earlier became first MEP to be elected

Niall O'Connor and Jason Kennedy

Published 25/05/2014|23:03

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GREEN Party leader Eamon Ryan has requested a recount of the Dublin euro constituency after he was beaten into fourth place by Nessa Childers and Brian Hayes.

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Following a day of high drama, Ms Childers pulled off an extraordinary comeback and finished in second place behind Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan.

But just 1,242 ballots separated Ms Childers, Mr Hayes and Mr Ryan after the votes of Fianna Fáil's Mary Fitzpatrick were distributed.

Shortly after 4am, returning officer Fergal J Gallagher declared that Ms Childers finished in second place, followed by Mr Hayes.

Mr Ryan immediately demanded a recount and argued that the late hour of counting may have played a factor.

"We just think it's right and proper that with a poll of 300,000, just to check it. We think that's the right thing to do," he said.

Following the final count, Ms Childers overtook her two male rivals, securing 73,598 votes. As was Fine Gael's initial fears, Mr Hayes was pushed into third position with 73,405 votes.

Mr Ryan is back in fourth on 72,256 votes.

After the result was announced, the RDS was filled with confusion as Mr Ryan raised his arm and sought to speak to the returning officer.

A full result was not declared and the Returning Officer adjourned proceedings until 2pm today.

He asked Mr Ryan to consider the matter overnight and the pair are due to meet at 1.30pm.

Mr Ryan insisted that he called the recount in order to be thorough, adding that there is always the possibility that votes went missing.

Fine Gael's Brian Hayes commiserates with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan after Mr Hayes won his seat at the European elections count centre at the RDS Dublin. Picture: Mark Condren
Fine Gael's Brian Hayes commiserates with Green Party leader Eamon Ryan after Mr Hayes won his seat at the European elections count centre at the RDS Dublin. Picture: Mark Condren

"It's mainly, we're all here in the middle of the night, four in the morning, just to make sure there weren't any mistakes and that bundles didn't go missing," he added.

Mr Hayes said he remains confident that he will hold on to third position but said he respects Mr Ryan's decision to call a recount.

Ms Childers's campaign spokeswoman Gillian Fitzpatrick said she did not attend out of a "conscious decision."

She said Ms Childers is "delighted" with finishing in second place and that she will speak to the media today.

Earlier, Sinn Fein’s Lynn Boylan was elected after the third count in the Dublin constituency for the European elections.

The Sinn Fein candidate reached the quota of 88,144, having secured a first count vote of more than 84,000.

FF's Mary Fitzpatrick had been eliminated on the fifth count.

Ms Fitzpatrick secured over 50,000 votes but she did not pick up transfers when it mattered.

Speaking to the media after her elimination, Ms Fitzpatrick refused to speculate on her political future.

"I'm obviously disappointed but really appreciate all the support I got," she said.

Surprisingly, Ms Childers has not yet arrived in the count centre in the RDS.

arlier, Sinn Fein's Lynn Boylan topped the poll and was comfortably elected.

The poor performance of Labour's Emer Costello - eliminated after the fourth count with 27,000 votes - is likely to be a further talking point, as is the strong performance of People Before Profit candidate Brid Smith with 23,875 - who, as expected, split the left wing vote with Paul Murphy (29,953)

Lynn is a member of the Sinn Féin Ard Comhairle and has been an active Sinn Féin member for eight years.

She has long been considered a favourite for the seat.

“It’s fantastic, absolutely overwhelming, I can’t believe how much support I got,” she said on RTE tonight.

The candidate said she met a lot of people who wanted to ‘stand up for Ireland’ in Europe during her canvassing.

“The electorate wanted someone to go to Europe and not go over saying yes to everything, they wanted someone to stand up for Ireland,” she said.

Boylan said the people she spoke to are "sick and tired" of austerity being imposed by the Troika and by Europe, but claimed she is not going to the European Parliament as a ‘Eurosceptic’.

Euro elections - Dublin (3 seats)

Electorate: 820,668

Total poll: 358,943

Spoilt: 6,368

Valid poll: 352,575

Quota: 88,144

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