Sunday 15 September 2019

Dublin Bay North: Tears as Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin concedes in Dublin Bay North

Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
Labour's Aodhán Ó Ríordáin
Averil Power (Independent) at the RDS Election Count centre (Photo: Douglas O'Connor)
Independent candidate Averil Power watches as votes are counted in the Dublin Bay North constituency at the RDS count centre. Photo: Damien Eagers
Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation Richard Bruton

Jane O'Faherty and Ciara Treacy

The latest high-profile casualty for the party, Labour TD and Minister of State Aodhán Ó Ríordáin lost his seat in Dublin Bay North.

Reflecting the overall collapse of the Labour across the country. Mr Ó Ríordáin’s concession paved the way for the election of Independents Tommy Broughan and Finian McGrath and Sinn Fein’s Denise Mitchell.

The Labour candidate lost out after the transfer of votes from PBP's John Lyons, leaving with a total of 10,329 votes.

Visibly emotional after his loss, Mr Ó Riordáin said: “Today wasn’t with us."

"The tide was out. We expected that maybe the government would have more support, and that maybe we would be trying to prove to people that Fine Gael needed I suppose partners in government," he added.

"But people made a very clear decision that they didn’t want the government returned," he continued.

Celebrating at the RDS was newly-elected Denise Mitchell who was joined by her Sinn Fein colleagues Gerry Adams and Mary Lou McDonald.

She was elected with 11,348 votes.

"It's down to the work of a fantastic team we have and I just want to thank my family as well because they're the ones who had to put up with me for the past few weeks," she said.

"I think it's clear from this election that the Fine Gael and Labour government have left the stage, so it's important that they take their water charges and their property tax along with them."

Finian McGrath of the Independent Alliance said he was honoured to get returned to the Dáil.

"It was a very difficult few days for all of us," he said.

"Regardless of the politics, you had Aodhan, you had Averil, you had Denise Mitchell and John Lyons and myself all fighting for seats, so on a personal level I mean you do feel for people and when you lose, it's horrific."

He continued: "It was worth the torture but the bottom line is now we have to sit down, clear my head and get on with the real issues affecting the people.

"I got a mandate from the people to do something about health, disabilities, inequality - they're the issues I'll be fighting for and if people are prepared to talk to me, I'll talk to them on those issues."

McGrath is planning to meet with fellow Independent Alliance members to plan their next course of action.

"I'm going to meet the members of the Independent Alliance in the next 24 hours who are going to sit down, look at those kind of options and see where we're at," he said.

"We're very radical, we're reformers but we're also very responsible.

"There is an onus when you get elected to the Dail that you have to sit down and say right, what can we work on here."

Independent Tommy Broughan was also thrilled to be returned to a "particularly vast constituency" after early tallies suggested his seat was in jeopardy.

"I'm trying to get back to the real world now," he quipped. "I noticed Man United, which is a team I support, had a nice victory the other day."

Mr Broughan said had not yet thought about going into government, adding: "I'm just so relieved, I haven't been able to think about anything.

"I'll be talking to independent colleagues like Thomas Pringle, Maureen O'Sullivan, obviously Clare Daly and so on.

"I'll talk to them and see what they plan to do."

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