Dun Laoghaire: Hanafin loses out to Boyd Barrett
POWER to the people was the cry at the end of a tense second day of counting, when Richard Boyd Barrett finally made it to the Dail.
The People Before Profit candidate prevailed over Fianna Fail's Mary Hanafin to take the fourth and final seat, having been pipped at the post in 2007 when the constituency was still a five-seater.
The success of People Before Profit and United Left Alliance candidates heralded a new era, he said. "A new political force has arrived in the Dail and a new dynamic will be witnessed in the Dail; it will change the political landscape in this country for the better."
Earlier, Labour's Ivana Bacik bowed out after a recheck failed to narrow the gap between herself and Boyd Barrett.
Bacik's transfers pushed Fine Gael's Mary Mitchell O'Connor over quota to secure the third seat, on her first run at the Dail.
The school principal and local councillor pledged to be a voice for the unemployed and for education.
"I hope to be a strong voice for education and also for women in Dail Eireann," she said.
Veteran Fine Gael TD Sean Barrett, who took the second seat on Saturday, said they had managed the vote by sending a letter to constituents in Blackrock, Booterstown and Monkstown on Thursday night urging them to vote Ms Mitchell O'Connor number one.
"I had a few sleepless moments but it's worked out fine," he said.
Labour's Eamon Gilmore topped the poll. "The election is over, the people have spoken, we have work to do," he said.
Outgoing Tourism Minister Mary Hanafin admitted early she was unlikely to make it.
"It's not all over yet, and certainly this is only another step along my road, and particularly my political road, but for this election and this Dail, it doesn't look like I'm going to be there," she conceded.
Outgoing Children's Minister Barry Andrews bowed out before lunchtime on Saturday, with just 3,542 first preferences, not enough to prolong the family's 46-year tenure in Dail Eireann.
Former Green Junior Minister Ciaran Cuffe also conceded early after polling just 2,156 first preferences.
Irish Independent Supplement