Sitting MEP Jim Higgins eliminated from Midlands North West count
FINE GAEL MEP Jim Higgins has been eliminated in the fourth count of the Midlands North West constituency.
No candidate was elected in the count. Mr Higgins' vote of 45,060 will now be distributed among the five remaining candidates.
Sinn Fein's Matt Carthy now has 124,976 votes - just over 4,000 votes away from the required quota. He is expected to be elected in the next count.
Fine Gael's Mairead McGuinness stands at 107,689 and looks set to comfortably take the third seat.
The gap between Independent Marian Harkin and Fianna Fail's Pat 'The Cope' Gallagher is widening. Harkin now has 89,611 votes compared to Gallagher's 65,725.
A fifth count is expected later this afternoon.
Meanwhile the five candidates who polled the lowest number of votes in the constituency have failed to meet the required number of save their election expenses.
Cordelia Nic Fhearraigh, TJ Fay, Mark Fitzsimons, Ben Gilroy and Mark Dearey failed to make the cut-off.