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Dublin Rathdown: Martin tops poll for the Greens as Ross's reign comes to an end

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End of an era: Shane Ross with wife Ruth Buchanan after he was eliminated in the Dublin Rathdown constituency

End of an era: Shane Ross with wife Ruth Buchanan after he was eliminated in the Dublin Rathdown constituency

End of an era: Shane Ross with wife Ruth Buchanan after he was eliminated in the Dublin Rathdown constituency

The Dublin Rathdown constituency is famous for claiming scalps of high fliers and poll-toppers, and this election was no different.

Having previously pulled the rug from under others such as Alan Shatter, Alex White and Liz O'Donnell, the electorate this time decided that transport and sport minister Shane Ross's time on the throne was over.

In the tight three-seater he was gone on the fifth count, having topped the poll in 2016, the same year Mr Shatter was eliminated.

Topping the poll this election was Catherine Martin for the Green Party, who retained her seat more than comfortably.

It was then a battle for the final two seats in this tightly fought constituency that went down to the wire.

Sinn Féin was hoping its massive popularity would carry Sorcha Nic Cormaic over the line, and she lasted until the penultimate count, polling closely behind Fianna Fáil's Shay Brennan, the son of the late Fianna Fáil stalwart Séamus Brennan.

Mr Brennan fell at the last hurdle, however, and the Fine Gael duo of Neale Richmond and Josepha Madigan crossed the finish line late at night in the Citywest count centre.

Mr Richmond, the newbie and first-time TD, finished with more votes than Ms Madigan, who was holding her seat since the previous election.

Mr Richmond has been a senator since 2016. He gained profile by being chair of the Seanad Brexit Committee and is Fine Gael spokesman on EU affairs.

But the big news in this constituency was not who won, but who lost, and Shane Ross was philosophical about his defeat.

"I'm uneasy about the situation. I'm perfectly happy to accept the verdict of what's happened," he said.

"There's obviously been a huge appetite for change.

"Those who represented that very articulately have been successful and I think it's appropriate for me to say well done to them and congratulations, and I hope they make up a really successful government and they bring about the changes which are necessary," he added.

"When you get a democratic vote of this sort it's the wish of the people, and if I made mistakes and could have done things differently that's alright.

"I did what I thought was right all the time and I'm perfectly happy to give others the opportunity to do what's right," he said.

Irish Independent