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Dublin Bay South: O'Connell is the loser as embattled minister Murphy scrapes back in

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Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell is comforted by her sister Theresa Newman at the RDS after losing her seat

Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell is comforted by her sister Theresa Newman at the RDS after losing her seat

Fine Gael’s Kate O’Connell is comforted by her sister Theresa Newman at the RDS after losing her seat

Fine Gael's Kate O'Connell has lost her seat in Dublin Bay South, while her party colleague Eoghan Murphy scraped back into the Dáil.

The housing minister suffered heavy criticism during the election campaign, was heckled at the count centre and failed to reach the quota - but ultimately he had enough support to retain his seat.

Fianna Fáil's Jim O'Callaghan was also elected and Sinn Féin's Chris Andrews also took a seat, almost 13 years after he was elected to the Dáil as a Fianna Fáil candidate.

Green Party leader Eamon Ryan had initially topped the poll on Sunday, coming home in the first count with 8,888 first-preference votes. The quota in the four-seat constituency was 7,919.

Counting went into a second day with four candidates hoping the transfers of Labour senator Kevin Humphreys would be enough to help get them over the line for the final three seats.

Ms O'Connell was more than 1,000 votes behind Mr O'Callaghan going in to the final count. She only secured 200 more transfers than him from Humphreys.

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Eoghan Murphy celebrates keeping his with his actor brother Killian Scott

Eoghan Murphy celebrates keeping his with his actor brother Killian Scott

Mr Murphy commiserated with her shortly before she left the RDS count centre.

Both Mr O'Callaghan and Mr Andrews said housing was the key issue that kept coming up on the doorsteps during the campaign.

Mr O'Callaghan said: "It is a very diverse constituency but even in the more affluent areas the issues of housing came up repeatedly.

"People in affluent areas were complaining about the cost of rent, the inability of their children to be able to buy a house. Everywhere you went there were people in their 30s at home living with their parents for a while, trying to save for a deposit. In the inner city there is a huge crisis in social housing.

"I met numerous people in the inner city, men in their mid-30s who are living at home and have moved back in again with their parents.

"You would see the bag in the corner of the living room and the small bed that is rolled up in the daytime and is then rolled out, where the son sleeps at night time.

"These are men who have children, who want to spend time with their children. That was the biggest issue."

Mr Andrews said this was an issue his party was able to capitalise on.

"It's a constituency that reflects Ireland in many ways. You have people who are affluent and doing very well and you have the people who are being left behind, there's huge diversity.

"The people who felt alienated and left behind - some of the conditions that people are living in, in flat complexes, they're like tenements, they came out really strongly and got behind Sinn Féin."

Irish Independent