Friday 21 July 2017

Listowel recount: over 200 ‘doubtful’ votes now being adjudicated on at count centre

Dan Kiely. Photo: Collins
Dan Kiely. Photo: Collins
Majella O'Sullivan

Majella O'Sullivan

No more than 10 ballot papers beginning with a sequence other than number one have been excluded from the recount of votes from the 2014 Local Elections.

The phenomenon where people cast their 1st and 2nd preferences on one ballot paper and continue on their 3rd and 4th preferences on a second paper - on a day when more than one election is being held - was central to a Supreme Court ruling that ordered a full recount in the Listowel Electoral Area.

Former Fianna Fáil senator Dan Kiely, who missed out in a seat in the Local Elections in May by just two votes and ran as an Independent, had challenged the outcome of the election.

Over 200 ‘doubtful’ votes are now being adjudicated on at the count centre in John Mitchels GAA Club in Tralee.

The 15 candidates, who stood for election or their agents have now been invited to inspect these votes but if these are disputed, the matter will be referred to Judge Tom O’Donnell at Limerick Circuit Court.

This adjudication has to happen in open court, where candidates are entitled to have legal representation, and in the presence of the media.

Barrister Rosemary Healy-Rae, a sister of Independent TD Michael Healy-Rae, is keeping a watching brief on proceedings at the Tralee count centre for Mr Kiely.

Also present at the count centre are: Senator Maurice Cummins, Leader of the Seanad; Seán Sherwin, former national organiser for Fianna Fáil; and Jim McMahon, Fine Gael regional organiser.

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