Monday 5 December 2016

Joan enjoys sweet smell of success in a loved-up Labour Party

Published 05/07/2014 | 02:30

Joan Burton and Eamon Gilmore celebrate at the Mansion House in Dublin yesterday. Collins
Joan Burton and Eamon Gilmore celebrate at the Mansion House in Dublin yesterday. Collins
Votes are counted in the Labour leadership elections at the Mansion House’s Round Room. Damien Eagers

THE tension in the Mansion House was such that one could cut it with a rubber knife. This wasn't so much a cliffhanger as a dander down a gentle slope.

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There was absolutely no sense of ta-dah at all when the new party leader was announced around mid-afternoon. Minutes after the handful of ballot boxes (which had arrived to the count centre by taxi, though which of the half-dozen receptacles paid the fare was unclear) containing just over 2,700 votes from party members were poured out on to the table, it was evident that one of the two contenders had scarpered over the line by a very long neck.

"Joan. Joan. Joan," intoned a relaxed tallyman as the ballots piled up.

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