Saturday 21 April 2018

Dublin Fingal: 'Some of the Government's decisions were fairly repugnant to me as a doctor' - Eliminated James Reilly

Dr. James Reilly
Dr. James Reilly
Minister James Reilly
Senator Darragh O'Brien Photo: Conor McCabe Photography
Fianna Fáil's Lorraine Clifford-Lee. Photo: Gerry Mooney
Clare Daly

Jane O'Faherty

Former Fine Gael Minister James Reilly has admitted that decisions he took on health were “fairly repugnant” to him.

Speaking after he lost his Dublin Fingal seat, the medical doctor said: “Probably my time in health wouldn’t have been helpful when the country had no money and hard decisions had to be made, which we did manage to reverse.”

“As somebody who worked as a doctor, they were fairly repugnant to me,” he added.

On whether he would continue his political career, Mr Reilly said: “I don’t think today is the day to make a decision like that.”

Mr Reilly was one of the biggest casualties of the general election, ruled out of the race after reaching a total of 6,215 votes.

“I know the recovery has not hit every home, and that some people have not felt it in their lives,” he added.

 “They can still see there is an improvement in the finances of the country. But what they need to feel is it at their own family door.”

But Mr Reilly urged members of the new government to “roll up their sleeves” to arrange a viable coalition.

He also said he recognised that people would be concerned about a coalition of Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil.

“But in the interests of the country, people are going to have to roll up their sleeves and come to an arrangement,” he added.

Fianna Fail's Darragh O'Brien was the first candidate to be elected in Dublin Fingal, securing 10,826 first preference votes, a jump from his last showing in the 2011 election when he secured just over 4,000 votes and lost his seat.

He was joined by Independent candidate Clare Daly, who got 9,480 first preference votes, just shy of the quota of 10,065. She was elected on the fourth count, after she transferred well from the other Independents.

Brendan Ryan, re-elected for Labour with 9406 votes, said he was delighted to be back in but recognised it had been a "difficult" election for his party.

“The most disappointing thing was to see Fianna Fáil being forgiven, and we were being punished for fixing it," he added

Sinn Féin candidate Louise O'Reilly says her victory in Dublin Fingal has shown her party is "transfer-friendly".

Ms O'Reilly gathered a total of 8,771 votes in the constituency, under the quota but it was enough to be deemed elected.

"I'm very honoured to be given this job and I'm very honoured and I'll work really, really hard,” she said.

"It's not a protest vote, it's not a negative vote. It's a very, very positive thing. Today you can see our party transfer-friendly."

Fellow TD Mary Lou McDonald arrived at the centre and said Sinn Féin would be in the "driving seat" of change if the numbers continued to rise around Ireland.

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