Independent Diarmuid O’Flynn eliminated from Ireland South race after count 10
INDEPENDENT candidate and Ireland South 'dark horse' challenger Diarmuid O'Flynn lost his brave European Parliament bid.
The Cork journalist and founder of the Ballyhea Anti-Bank Bailout campaign was eliminated on the 10th count of the marathon Ireland South ballot after failing to overhaul Fianna Fail's Kieran Hartley and remain in the hunt for the fourth and final seat.
FF's Brian Crowley and Sinn Fein's Liadh ni Riada have already been elected for the sprawling constituency.
FG MEP and former GAA President Sean Kelly is certain to win the third seat as he is already 42,000 votes ahead of his nearest rival.
While Mr Hartley remains in the hunt, he is now entirely dependent on heavy transfers from Mr O'Flynn to overtake his nearest challenger, FG's Simon Harris TD.
If he fails to close the 3,800 vote gap to Mr Harris, who is a Wicklow TD, the elimination of the FF candidate will determine the destination of the fourth and final seat.
While Mr Harris was ahead of his Cork rival, Sen Deirdre Clune, from the first count, she has now opened up a critical 1,400-vote lead thanks to strong transfers over the last three counts.
FG strategists said they are confident they will win the fourth seat - the only doubt being which of Ms Clune or Mr Harris will secure the Brussels berth.