Friday 21 July 2017

Wexford: Wallace tops poll, knocking FG's treble plans off centre

Brendan Furlong and Fiach Kelly

INDEPENDENT candidate Mick Wallace swept to the top of the poll in Wexford, throwing Fine Gael's plans to take three out of five seats into disarray.

The developer caused havoc with the Fine Gael vote, skewing the ticket so that outgoing Gorey-based TD Michael D'Arcy lost his seat to his running mate Liam Twomey.

There was suspicion within Wexford Fine Gael last week when the party's finance spokesman Michael Noonan told a local newspaper that Mr Twomey could get a key role in the next government .

But Mr Noonan didn't mention Mr D'Arcy or Paul Kehoe, the other Fine Gael TD.

Mr D'Arcy went against Enda Kenny in last year's heave.

In any case, it was Mr Wallace who stole the show after he was elected on the first count, with 13,329 first preferences.

"I feel a huge responsibility to the people of Wexford who have shown the courage to look for change and I do not carry it lightly," Mr Wallace said.

Mr Twomey led his two Fine Gael colleagues with 9,230 first preferences and was eventually elected on the seventh count with 11,596 votes.

He was joined by Mr Kehoe but Mr D'Arcy lost out.

Labour ran two candidates in Wexford for the first time and Brendan Howlin polled an impressive 11,005 first preferences, eventually reaching the quota on the fourth count.

Transfers from his running mate, first-timer Pat Cody, helped him over the line.

Fianna Fail junior minister Sean Connick lost his seat but his party colleague John Browne, a TD for almost 20 years, held on.

Irish Independent Supplement

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